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News > Companies
Delta, NW fly over forecasts
July 20, 2000: 12:10 p.m. ET

Strong earnings complete quarter as airlines overcome soaring fuel costs
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines both flew well over second-quarter earnings forecasts.

The reports helped the industry to basically wrap up a strong earnings quarter when profitability increased, despite soaring fuel costs. It also helped turn around stocks in the sector the day after a warning from UAL Corp., owner of industry leader United Airlines, took most airline stocks lower.

graphicDelta, the nation's third largest carrier, earned $376 million, or $2.86 a diluted share. That tops both the $2.72 a share forecast from analysts surveyed by earnings tracker First Call, as well as the $364 million, or $2.40 a share, it earned a year earlier.

Including special gains and charges, Delta's net income in the period came to $460 million, or $3.51 a share.

Delta did a better job than other airlines in limiting the increase in fuel costs through long-term fuel contracts. Those contracts saved the carrier $133 million, and limited the increase in fuel cost to 22 percent, compared with hikes in the 40-to-100 percent range at other carriers.

Revenue for the Atlanta-based airline increased to $4.5 billion in the quarter from $3.9 billion a year earlier. As was the case with other major carriers, Delta sold a greater percentage of its seats and saw increased fares during the period. The airline did not include six months operating figures in its release.

In trading Thursday Delta (DAL: Research, Estimates) shares gained 1-5/16 to 54-15/16.

Record full planes lift Northwest earnings


Northwest Airlines, the nation's fourth largest carrier, posted an unexpected gain in income.

The Minneapolis-based carrier posted net income of $115 million, or $1.26 a diluted share. First Call's forecast was for earnings to drop to 98 cents a share from the $103 million, or $1.10 a share, it earned excluding special items in the year-earlier period.

graphicThe airline saw record load factors to post revenue of $2.9 billion, up 12.7 percent from the $2.6 billion it saw a year earlier.

For the first six months of the year, Northwest posted net income of $118 million, or $1.29 a diluted share, up from the $91 million, or 98 cents a share it earned a year earlier. Year-to-date revenue came to $5.5 billion, from $4.9 billion a year earlier.

Shares of Northwest (NWAC: Research, Estimates) edged up 1/8 to 34-13/16 in trading Thursday. Back to top

  RELATED STORIES

United warning crashes air stocks despite strong 2Q - July 19, 2000

Continental, Southwest fly over 2Q forecasts, but America West profits crash short of estimates - July 18, 2000

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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.