Live updates: Stocks roar back after plunging at the opening bell – CNN

Delta Air Lines posted record revenue of $14 billion, up 11% from the same period in pre-pandemic 2019, and it did so with only 83% of the seat capacity it had at that time.

Income of $1.3 billion fell just short of forecasts but the shortfall was less than the impact of Hurricane Ian on its operations, as the airline said the storm cost it about 3 cents a share, or $19.4 million.

But what sent shares of Delta climbing 4% in premarket trading was its guidance of earnings per share of between $1 to $1.25 in the fourth quarter. While that was down from the $1.51 a share in the third quarter, it was well above forecast of 79 cents a share by analysts surveyed by Refinitiv. The guidance helped lift shares of rivals American, United and Southwest Airlines as well.

CEO Ed Bastian, in an interview Thursday on CNBC, said he believes there’s enough pent-up demand for travel to fill seats into early next year, even if the US economy falls into recession as many now fear.

“One busy summer isn’t going to quench all the demand for travel that we’ve seen,” he said. “Our planes have been 90% full, or more full, since the first of April. And that continues into the fourth quarter as well. The holiday booking period is strong. Business bookings are continuing to improve. I think it’s going to be a terrific tailwind into the new year.”

Bastian said Delta solved its reliability problems that angered passengers earlier in the year, problems that caused widespread cancellations and prompted Bastian to apologize to customers three months ago. But he said in the second half of the third quarter, out of 120,000 flights on its mainline operations, it had only 108 cancelled flights, not counting the three days affected by Hurricane Ian.

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