Delta Air Lines swings to £551.58 million of loss in the fiscal fourth quarter

on Jan 14, 2021
  • Delta Air Lines swings to £551.58 million of loss in the fiscal fourth quarter.
  • The air carrier says revenue in the fourth quarter came in better than expected.
  • Delta forecasts an up to 65% decline in total revenue in the current quarter.

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Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL) said on Thursday that its revenue in the fiscal fourth quarter came in better than expected on the back of robust performance from its cargo business. Its loss during the period, however, was wider than the forecast.  

Delta Air Lines was reported about 2% up in premarket trading on Thursday and gained another 2% on market open. Including the price action, the stock is now exchanging hands at £30.54 per share after recovering significantly from a low of £14 per share in May 2020 when the COVID-19 crisis brought demand for air travel to a near halt.

Earlier this year, passengers claimed that they were kicked off Delta flight for being Trump supporters.

Delta’s Q4 financial results versus analysts’ estimates

Delta reported £551.58 million of loss in the fourth quarter that translates to 87 pence per share. In the same quarter last year, it had noted £800 million of net income or £1.25 per share. Adjusted for one-time items, the air carrier lost £1.85 per share in the recent quarter.

In terms of revenue, Delta reported £2.90 billion in Q4 that represents a 65% annualised decline. According to FactSet, experts had forecast an even lower £2.68 billion of revenue for the airline in the fourth quarter. Their estimate for per-share loss stood at a narrower £1.83. In the prior quarter (Q3), Delta’s revenue had tanked 76%.

Passenger revenue, as per the Atlanta-based company, registered at £1.97 billion or 74% lower than last year in the recent quarter versus a marginally higher £1.98 billion expected. At £149.04 million, cargo revenue saw a 10% year over year increase. FactSet Consensus for cargo revenue stood at a lower £116.74 million.

Other prominent figures in Delta’s earnings report

Other prominent figures included in Delta’s earnings report on Thursday include a decline in load factor from 86% to 42% versus 44.4% expected. The airline said that capacity slid 44% in the fourth quarter while traffic declined 73%.

For the fiscal first quarter, Delta forecasts an up to 65% decline in total revenue on an annualised basis. Analysts, on the other hand, are calling for a much narrower 48.3% decline instead. Delta Air Lines performed largely downbeat in the stock market last year with an annual decline of close to 35%. At the time of writing, the air carrier has a market capitalisation of £19.48 billion.


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