Delta Air Lines (DAL) reported a smaller than expected first quarter loss today and shares rose strongly after the company said a strong rebound in summer traffic would turn results positive in the second quarter. As of noon New York time Delta shares were up 4.51%.
The airline lost $1.23 a share, slightly less than the Wall Street consensus of a $1.27 a share loss, on revenue of $9.3 billion. Wall Street had expected revenue of $8.8 billion.
“Through the early part of the summer, the booking activity has been quite strong,” Delta Chief Executive Officer Ed Bastian said. “For the last month we have seen the highest sales and booking activity on Delta than at any time in our history” despite offering only 90% of its pre-pandemic seats for sale.
Delta said that it anticipates no trouble raising fares to cover higher fuel prices this quarter and probably through the summer. The price of jet fuel has climbed 155% since March 1 and sanctions on Russia after that country’s invasion of Ukraine.
Delta’s results have led to higher prices for shares across the airline sector with American Airlines (AAL) and United Airlines (UAL) up 10.54% and 5.83%, respectively, as of noon New York time. The rally has extended to other summer travel stocks with Booking Holdings (BKNG), for example up 3.09%, and Airbnb (ABNB), up 5.50%.
Delta is a member of my Jubak Picks Portfolio The shares are up 1.44% since I added them to that portfolio on January 31. 2022.
Full disclosure: I own Call Options on Delta in my personal portfolio.