Delta Air Lines has reported financial results for the March quarter 2018, with a generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) pre-tax income of $718 million and net income of $547 million as well as earnings per diluted share of $0.77 on record revenue of $10.0 billion
The results indicate adjusted pre-tax income of $676 million, adjusted net income of $523 million and adjusted earnings per diluted share of $0.74
The company, however, returned $542 million to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases
The adjusted pre-tax income of $676 million represents a $104 million decrease from the March 2017 quarter, as record revenues were offset by higher fuel prices and other increased costs including a $44 million impact from severe winter weather.
“The Delta people delivered a strong March quarter, and our record revenue was a direct result of the great service and operational reliability they provided for our customers. It’s an honor to recognize their hard work with $183 million toward our 2018 profit sharing,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s chief executive officer.
“We have confidence in our plan to grow earnings in 2018 through top-line growth, improving our cost trajectory, and leveraging our international partnerships.”
Delta’s adjusted operating revenue of $9.8 billion for the March quarter improved 8 percent, or $715 million versus the prior year. This revenue result marks a March quarter record for the company, and was driven by improvements across Delta’s business, including a 23 percent increase in cargo revenue and a $78 million increase in total loyalty revenue.
Delta’s Branded Fares initiative drove $421 million in premium up-sell revenue in the period, a 23 percent increase from the prior year.
Total unit revenues excluding refinery sales (TRASM) increased 5.0 percent during the period, with foreign currency contributing just over 0.5 points of benefit. This marks the fourth consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth, with all geographic regions delivering positive results.
“We are seeing Delta’s best revenue momentum since 2014, with positive domestic unit revenues, improvements in all our international entities, strong demand for corporate travel and double-digit increases in our loyalty revenues,” said Glen Hauenstein, Delta’s president. “With our solid pipeline of commercial initiatives, delivered with industry-leading Delta service, we expect to maintain this momentum and deliver total revenue growth of 4 to 6 percent for the full year.”
For the June quarter, Delta expects solid top-line growth and an improving cost trajectory will mitigate the impact of higher fuel prices. The company will also benefit from a reduction in its book tax rate.