Delta Air Lines reported unprecedented quarterly profit and revenue Thursday and raised its expectations for a year after travelers took to the skies in huge numbers, defying some forecasts of a pullback in spending.
Revenue soared almost 13% to $15.58 billion, a surprising jump even for a carrier that has outperformed consistently.
Shares rose almost 5% before the opening bell, on a trajectory to set a new 52-week high, and pulled major carriers higher with it.
“Robust demand is continuing into the September quarter where we expect total revenue to be similar to the June quarter, up 11 percent to 14 percent compared to the September quarter 2022 on capacity that is 16 percent higher," said Glen Hauenstein, Delta’s president, in a written statement.
Delta’s second-quarter profit was $1.83 billion, or $2.84 per share. Earnings per share adjusted for one-time costs or benefits was $2.68, far exceeding the $2.42 that Wall Street was looking for, according to a survey by Zacks Investment Research.
The Atlanta carrier boosted its per-share earnings expectations for the year to $6 to $7, up from previous projections for $5 to $6.
Delta's profit-fueled quarter lifted the entire sector in early trading. American, United and Southwest all rose close to 3% before the opening bell.
For the current quarter ending in September, Delta expects its per-share earnings to range from $2.20 to $2.50.