Delta Air Lines Earnings Top, Delta Stock Falls On Guidance; United Airlines Due Late

Delta Air Lines (DAL) reported fourth-quarter earnings on Tuesday, with United Airlines (UAL) due after the close. Delta Air Lines stock fell, while United Airlines stock and other airline stocks generally edged lower.

Delta Air Lines Earnings

Estimates: Wall Street expected Delta Air Lines earnings per share to jump 32% to $ 1.27. Revenue was expected to rise 6% to $ 10.829 billion.

Results: Delta Air Lines earnings came in at $ 1.30 a share adjusted. Revenue climbed to $ 10.74 billion. Unit revenue grew by 3.2%, slightly better than Delta’s lowered forecast earlier this month.

Outlook: Delta expects Q1 EPS of 70-90 cents. Analysts expected Delta Air Lines earnings per share of 92 cents. The airline also sees unit revenue growth of 0% to 2%. Capacity is seen rising about 4%. Delta Air Lines said the government shutdown is hurting business this month.

Delta Air Lines Stock, Airline Stocks

Delta Air Lines stock fell 1.5% to 47.05 in the stock market today.

Among other airline stocks, American Airlines (AAL) fell 0.7%. Southwest Airlines (LUV) was not yet trading.

Highly-rated Spirit Airlines (SAVE), which gave a bullish Q4 unit revenue forecast in late November, was also quiet. Spirit Airlines stock has found support at its 50-day line in recent days.

United Airlines Earnings

Estimates: A 31% increase in United Airlines earnings per share to $ 1.84. Wall Street saw revenue increasing 10% to $ 10.370 billion.

Results: United Airlines earnings are due after the market close.

United Airlines Stock

United Airlines stock dipped 0.2% Monday. United closed just below its 200-day line on Monday.

At the start of 2018, investors punished United Airlines stock after the carrier announced a multi-year expansion plan into smaller cities. But they came back around after signs the plan was working.

Government Shutdown Effect?

Airline stocks fell hard over the past few weeks after Delta cut its fourth-quarter unit revenue forecast twice, citing less leeway to charge more on seats booked closer to departure time.

Delta Air Lines last month also said it expected a slight slowdown in the global economy this year and continued “volatility” in fuel prices.

But the carrier also said it expects demand trends to hold up and said efforts to rely less on main cabin seats in favor of higher-priced premium seats would help it withstand any trouble in the global economy.

American Airlines also grew more cautious about its financial outlook, citing a “lower than anticipated improvement” over strong domestic travel trends a year earlier.

Cowen & Co. also raised concerns about how the government shutdown might affect business at American’s hub airport in the Washington, D.C. area.

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