Delta Air Lines Misses Revenue Expectations In Q2, EPS In Line

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Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) has reported its financial results for the June quarter of 2024, showcasing a mixed performance. The company achieved a record operating revenue of $16.7 billion, with an adjusted figure of $15.4 billion, reflecting a 5.4% increase from the same quarter last year.

The operating income stood at $2.3 billion, translating to an operating margin of 14.7%. The pre-tax income was $2 billion, yielding a pre-tax margin of 13.0%. Earnings per share (EPS) were $2.36, aligning with the company’s strong financial health and operational prowess.

Delta’s operational excellence is further highlighted by its cash flow metrics. The operating cash flow for the quarter was $2.5 billion, with free cash flow reaching $1.3 billion.

The airline also made significant strides in debt reduction, with payments on debt and finance lease obligations amounting to $1.4 billion, bringing the total debt and finance lease obligations down to $18.0 billion. The company’s adjusted debt to EBITDAR ratio improved to 2.8x from 3.0x at the end of 2023, demonstrating a solid balance sheet and financial stability.

Delta Airlines June Quarter EPS in Line, Miss on Revenue Expectations

When comparing Delta’s current performance to market expectations, the results are mixed. Analysts had anticipated an EPS of $2.36, which Delta matched precisely.

The company’s reported revenue of $16.7 billion exceeded the expected $15.47 billion, showcasing Delta’s ability to surpass revenue forecasts significantly. Despite this, the GAAP EPS came in at $2.01, below the expected $2.36, indicating some areas where the company fell short of market projections.

The adjusted figures provide a clearer picture of Delta’s performance. The adjusted operating revenue of $15.4 billion was slightly below the expected $15.47 billion, but the adjusted EPS of $2.36 met expectations.

This alignment with market projections on an adjusted basis suggests that Delta’s core operations are strong, even if some GAAP metrics were impacted by non-operational factors such as mark-to-market adjustments on investments and losses on debt extinguishment.

Delta Airlines Forecasts Third-Quarter EPS Between $1.70 and $2.00

Looking ahead, Delta has provided optimistic guidance for the upcoming quarter and the full fiscal year 2024. For the September quarter, the airline expects a double-digit operating margin and a pre-tax profit of approximately $1.5 billion. The forecasted EPS for the third quarter is between $1.70 and $2.00, with total revenue expected to grow by 2% to 4% year-over-year.

This guidance reflects Delta’s confidence in maintaining its operational efficiency and revenue growth despite potential market challenges.

For the full year 2024, Delta is reiterating its guidance for an EPS range of $6 to $7 and free cash flow of $3 to $4 billion. The company also aims to achieve an adjusted debt to EBITDAR ratio of 2x to 3x, indicating a continued focus on debt reduction and financial health.

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Disclaimer: The author does not hold or have a position in any securities discussed in the article.

Disclosure: None.

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