Delta Air Lines Announces 2018 September Quarter Profit

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October 11, 2018/PR Newswire 

– September quarter 2018 GAAP pre-tax income of $1.7 billion, net income of $1.3 billion and earnings per diluted share of $1.91 on record revenue of $12.0 billion

– September quarter 2018 adjusted pre-tax income of $1.6 billion, adjusted net income of $1.2 billion and adjusted earnings per diluted share of $1.80

– Delta returned $566 million to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases

ATLANTA, Oct. 11, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) is updating and replacing one table exhibit in a press release issued at 7 a.m. ET this morning, “Delta Air Lines Announces 2018 September Quarter Profit.”

The Company is updating and replacing the Statistical Summary Table (Unaudited) to correct the line previously labeled as “CASM-Ex, including profit sharing – see Note A (cents)” as “CASM-Ex – see Note A (cents).”

The fully corrected Statistical Summary Table (Unaudited) is as follows:

DELTA AIR LINES, INC.

Statistical Summary

(Unaudited)

 

Three Months Ended

   

Nine Months Ended

 
 

September 30,

   

September 30,

 
 

2018

2017

Change

 

2018

2017

Change

Revenue passenger miles (millions)

63,320

 

61,006

 

3.8

%

 

172,002

 

166,533

 

3.3

%

Available seat miles (millions)

72,875

 

70,167

 

3.9

%

 

200,842

 

194,265

 

3.4

%

Passenger mile yield (cents)

17.05

 

16.36

 

4.2

%

 

17.50

 

16.77

 

4.4

%

Passenger revenue per available seat mile (cents)

14.81

 

14.22

 

4.2

%

 

14.99

 

14.37

 

4.3

%

Total revenue per available seat mile (cents)

16.40

 

15.77

 

4.0

%

 

16.78

 

15.91

 

5.5

%

TRASM, adjusted- see Note A (cents)

16.25

 

15.58

 

4.3

%

 

16.51

 

15.78

 

4.6

%

Operating cost per available seat mile (cents)

14.15

 

13.17

 

7.4

%

 

14.71

 

13.44

 

9.4

%

CASM-Ex – see Note A (cents)

9.62

 

9.62

 

%

 

10.19

 

9.97

 

2.2

%

Passenger load factor

86.9

%

86.9

%

pts

 

85.6

%

85.7

%

(0.1)

 pts

Fuel gallons consumed (millions)

1,135

 

1,108

 

2.4

%

 

3,137

 

3,073

 

2.1

%

Average price per fuel gallon

$

2.21

 

$

1.61

 

37.3

%

 

$

2.13

 

$

1.61

 

32.3

%

Average price per fuel gallon, adjusted – see Note A

$

2.22

 

$

1.68

 

32.1

%

 

$

2.14

 

$

1.68

 

27.3

%

Number of aircraft in fleet, end of period

1,026

 

996

 

30

         
 

Note: The prior periods presented here have been recast to reflect adoption of new accounting standards. Except for number of aircraft in fleet, consolidated data presented includes operations under Delta’s contract carrier arrangements.

A fully updated version of the “Delta Air Lines Announces 2018 September Quarter Profit” news release is as follows:

Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) today reported financial results for the September quarter 2018. Highlights of those results, including both GAAP and adjusted metrics, are below and incorporated here.

Adjusted pre-tax income for the September quarter 2018 was $1.6 billion, and adjusted earnings per share were $1.80, at the high end of guidance. Adjusted earnings per share were up 16 percent compared to the prior year quarter, driven by revenue momentum, tax reform benefits and a four percent lower share count. Results reflect a $30 million negative impact from Hurricane Florence.

“Our solid eight percent revenue growth, combined with flat non-fuel unit cost performance, helped offset 85 percent of the $655 million fuel cost increase in the quarter. These achievements are a testament to the strength of the Delta business model and the hard work of the Delta people, and I am pleased to recognize their performance with an additional $395 million toward 2018 profit sharing,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s Chief Executive Officer. “Our commercial momentum and improved cost trajectory give us confidence that we are on a path to deliver continued top-line growth and expand margins as we move into 2019.”

Revenue Environment

Delta’s adjusted operating revenue of $11.8 billion for the September quarter improved eight percent, or $912 million versus the prior year. This quarterly revenue result marks a record for the company, driven by improvements across Delta’s business, including a nearly 20 percent increase in premium product ticket revenues and double-digit percentage increases in cargo, loyalty and Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul revenue.

Total unit revenues excluding refinery sales (TRASM) increased 4.3 percent during the period driven by strong demand and improving yields. Foreign exchange benefit of approximately half a point was offset by the impact of Hurricane Florence.

“We generated record revenues in the September quarter on strong demand across the business and a favorable yield environment. In the December quarter we expect total unit revenue growth of three to five percent, driving full year revenue growth to eight percent, the high end of our guidance,” said Glen Hauenstein, Delta’s President. “The benefits of our brand, industry-leading network, and relentless focus on the customer are driving revenue growth, improving margins and accelerating the pace of our recapture of higher fuel costs.”

       

Increase (Decrease)

       

3Q18 versus 3Q17

Revenue

 

3Q18 ($M)

 

Change

YoY

Unit
Revenue

Yield

Capacity

        Domestic

$

7,395

 

9.2%

3.3%

3.2%

5.6%

Atlantic

 

1,996

 

10.7%

7.8%

7.0%

2.7%

Pacific

 

730

 

3.0%

4.8%

6.3%

(1.7)%

Latin America

 

675

 

(2.6)%

(2.9)%

(0.8)%

0.3%

Total Passenger

$

10,796

 

8.2%

4.2%

4.2%

3.9%

Cargo Revenue

 

226

 

18.5%

     

Other Revenue

 

931

 

4.4%

     

Total Revenue

$

11,953

 

8.1%

4.0%

   

       Third Party Refinery Sales

 

(108)

         

Total Revenue, adjusted

$

11,845

 

8.3%

4.3%

   

December Quarter 2018

Despite an expected 30 percent increase in fuel price, Delta expects pre-tax margins to stabilize in the December quarter driven by continued top-line growth and improving cost performance.

 

4Q18 Forecast

Earnings per share

$1.10 – $1.30

Pre-tax margin

9% – 11%

Fuel price, including taxes, settled hedges and refinery impact

$2.47 – 2.52

Total revenue growth (year-over-year)

Up ~8%

Total unit revenue excluding refinery sales (year-over-year)

Up 3% – 5%

CASM – Excluding fuel and profit sharing (year-over-year)

Flat – down 1%

System Capacity (year-over-year)

Up ~4%

See Note A for information about reconciliation of projected non-GAAP financial measures

Cost Performance

Total adjusted operating expenses for the September quarter increased $1.0 billion versus the prior year quarter, with more than half of the increase driven by higher fuel prices.

CASM-Ex was flat for the September quarter 2018 compared to the prior year period, a three-point improvement from the June quarter. Efficiency gains successfully offset cost pressures from higher revenue-related costs and product and employee investments.

“The September quarter marked an important inflection point in changing our non-fuel cost trajectory, and we expect to deliver on our full-year target of one to two percent non-fuel unit cost growth,” said Paul Jacobson, Delta’s Chief Financial Officer. “Continued focus on cost control, along with incremental efficiency gains from refleeting and One Delta, give us confidence in our ability to keep our non-fuel unit cost growth below two percent next year.”

Adjusted fuel expense increased $655 million, or 35 percent, relative to September quarter 2017. Delta’s adjusted fuel price per gallon for the September quarter was $2.22, which includes $12 million of benefit from the refinery.

Adjusted non-operating expense improved by $30 million versus the prior year, driven primarily by pension expense favorability. The company expects 2018 full-year adjusted non-operating expense to be approximately $300 million, representing a $160 million improvement over prior year due to favorable interest and pension expenses, offsetting reduced partner earnings due to higher fuel.

Adjusted tax expense declined $221 million for the September quarter primarily due to the reduction in Delta’s book tax rate from 34 percent to 23 percent.

Cash Flow and Shareholder Returns

Delta generated $1.5 billion of operating cash flow and $655 million of free cash flow during the quarter, after the investment of $865 million primarily for aircraft purchases and modifications.

For the September quarter, Delta returned $566 million to shareholders, comprised of $325 million of share repurchases and $241 million in dividends.

Strategic Highlights

In the September quarter, Delta achieved a number of milestones across its five key strategic pillars.

Culture and People

  • Received certification as a great workplace by the independent analysts at Great Place to Work for a third straight year, with 93 percent of employees proud to work for Delta, reiterating the importance of the Delta culture.
  • Earned a spot in the transportation section of the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index for the eighth consecutive year, as the first airline to offer carbon offsets to customers and the only airline to cap emissions at 2012 levels through purchase of carbon offsets.

Operational Reliability

  • Delivered 97 days of zero system cancellations across the combined mainline and Delta Connection operations on a year-to-date basis, up 46 days from 2017 and exceeding the previous full-year record in the first nine months of the year.
  • Achieved industry-leading operational performance with mainline on-time performance (A0) of 71.5 percent year-to-date; and top baggage performance as measured in the latest Department of Transportation report.

Network and Partnerships

  • Achieved major milestones in the Delta/Korean joint venture including the completion of pricing harmonization, co-location of teams in Seoul and Atlanta, and broad alignment of commercial strategy.
  • Signed a definitive agreement with WestJet that, after regulatory approval, will create a transborder joint venture serving more than 30 cities, which covers over 95 percent of U.S.-Canadian demand, providing enhanced offerings and more choice for customers.
  • Continued Delta’s global and domestic expansion with the announcement of plans to expand access to LondonHeathrow and Paris-Charles de Gaulle from key hubs and gateways including Detroit, Los Angeles, New York-JFK, and Portland, Ore; new Boston to Lisbon service; new Tampa to Amsterdam service; additional frequency to Tel Aviv from New York-JFK; and, new Honolulu service from Detroit.

Customer Experience and Loyalty

  • Installed seat-back entertainment on its 600th aircraft, more than any airline in the world, giving more customers than ever convenient access to free in-flight entertainment on Delta Studio.
  • Announced the launch of the first biometric terminal in the United States, transforming the customer journey with a seamless travel experience through the Maynard H. Jackson International Terminal in Atlanta.
  • Launched personalized company sites to allow individual corporate travelers to stay up to date on benefits they receive through their company’s Corporate Sales Agreement with Delta.

Investment Grade Balance Sheet

  • Received reaffirmation of an investment-grade credit rating by S&P Ratings, showing the confidence of the market in the sustainability and durability of the company.

September Quarter Results

Special items for the quarter consist primarily of mark-to-market adjustments on refinery fuel hedges and unrealized gains/losses on investments.

 

GAAP

Adjusted

($ in millions except per share and unit costs)

3Q18

3Q17

3Q18

3Q17

Pre-tax income

1,674

 

1,776

 

1,601

 

1,696

 

Net income

1,312

 

1,159

 

1,236

 

1,109

 

Diluted earnings per share

1.91

 

1.61

 

1.80

 

1.54

 

Operating revenue

11,953

 

11,061

 

11,845

 

10,933

 

Operating expense

10,311

 

9,238

 

10,220

 

9,184

 

Fuel expense

2,498

 

1,785

 

2,514

 

1,859

 

Average fuel price per gallon

2.21

 

1.61

 

2.22

 

1.68

 

Consolidated unit cost (CASM/CASM-Ex)

14.15

 

13.17

 

9.62

 

9.62

 

Non-operating income/(expense)

32

 

(47)

 

(24)

 

(53)

 

Total unit revenues (TRASM/TRASM, adjusted)

16.40

 

15.77

 

16.25

 

15.58

 

opan



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