Delta Air Lines (DAL) Q4 2022 results

Delta Air Lines Airbus A330neo or A330-900 with neo engine option from the European aircraft manufacturer, seen departing from Amsterdam Schiphol AMS EHAM International Airport.

Nicolas Economou | NurPhoto | Getty Images

Delta Airlines Fourth-quarter earnings and revenue beat expectations on Friday, but shares fell on the carrier’s first-quarter outlook.

Delta expects to earn 15 to 40 cents per share on an adjusted basis in the first quarter of 2023 and sales to grow 14 to 17 percent from the same quarter of 2019.

But it said unit costs, excluding fuel, would likely rise 3% to 4% from 2022, including for labor and rebuilding its network. Delta’s pilots union is reviewing a contract proposal this week that includes raises exceeding 30% over four years.

Delta forecasts full-year 2023 earnings of $5 to $6 per share.

Shares of the company were down about 4% in premarket trading.

Here’s how Delta fared in the fourth quarter, relative to Wall Street expectations based on consensus estimates from Refinitiv:

  • Adjusted earnings per share: $1.48 vs $1.33 expected.
  • Adjusted revenue: $12.29 billion, excluding refinery sales, versus $12.23 billion expected.

The airline generated $13.44 billion in total sales for the last three months of 2022, 17% more than the $11.44 billion it brought in three years earlier. High costs ate away at some of Delta’s profits, but its net income still stood at $828 million, down from $1.1 billion in the same three-month period in 2019.

Delta CEO Ed Bastian said in a press release that the carrier “has met the challenges of 2022, delivering industry-leading operational reliability and financial performance.”

Airlines were broadly bullish in the fourth quarter, despite worries about a recession and weakness in some retailers and other businesses. Thursday, American airlines raised its revenue and profit forecast for the period, triggering a broad recovery in the sector.

This was even after bad winter weather halted coast-to-coast flights over the holiday season, causing mass cancellations. South West Airlines in particular, struggled to recover and said its collapse could cost it more than $800 million. US and Southwest Report January 26.

This is breaking news. Check back for updates.

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