Delta's Q1 Earnings Report Reveals Strong Travel Demand Despite Economic Concerns

Delta's Q1 Earnings Report Reveals Strong Travel Demand Despite Economic Concerns

News 2023-06-07

Delta Airlines Inc announced its Q1 earnings report on Thursday, April 12th, indicating that travel demand remains strong despite recession fears. Although the company posted a wider quarterly loss than expected, Delta's shares only dropped 1.7%, while American Airlines Group Inc suffered a bigger loss as its shares sank 9% after revealing weaker-than-expected guidance.

Delta's report showed an adjusted revenue of $11.84 billion, which missed analyst estimates averaging $11.99 billion. However, the company reported a net loss of $363 million, or 57 cents per share, mainly due to the cost of the 34% raise given to pilots following a new four-year contract. Compared to last year's quarter, Delta's skies are brighter, with the net loss significantly reduced from $940 million to $363 million. The company's net income reached $163 million or 25 cents per share when excluding one-time items, compared to last year's first-quarter loss of $748 million, or $1.23 per share.

Despite rising unit costs by 4.7% YoY due to winter storms that grounded flights, Delta reported that domestic sales in March are back to pre-Covid-19 levels, with corporate bookings and loyalty program revenue undergoing recovery. The American Express Company partnership contributed $1.7 billion in revenue, a 38% increase from last year's comparable quarter. Additionally, first-class revenue has surpassed the revenue generated by standard seats.

Despite missing estimates, Delta's Q2 guidance topped analysts' estimates, signaling that travel demand remains strong despite a weakening macroeconomic environment. The company expects sales in the current quarter to rise between 15% and 17% compared to last year's comparable quarter, with adjusted operating margins of 16% and adjusted EPS in the range of $2 to $2.25. Delta plans to increase capacity by 17% compared to 2022's second quarter as it expects to achieve a record in advance summer bookings.

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