(RTTNews) – Delta Air Lines (DAL) said the company ended December with revenue recovered nearly 80% to 2019 levels thanks to strong demand and prices during the holiday season. Fourth-quarter adjusted operating revenue was 74% recovered from the December 2019 quarter on 79% restored capacity, the company said.
Looking forward, Delta Air Lines expects the recent increase in COVID cases associated with the omicron variant to impact the pace of demand recovery early in the first quarter. Taking that into account, the company expects total revenue in the March quarter to recover to 72-76% of 2019 levels, from 74% in the December quarter. Despite expectations of a loss in the March quarter, the company expects to generate a healthy profit in the June, September and December quarters, which will translate into a significant profit in 2022.
Delta Air Lines reported adjusted pretax income of $170 million for the December quarter. Adjusted earnings per share were $0.22 for the quarter. On average, 17 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings per share of $0.14 for the quarter. Analyst estimates generally exclude special items.
Net loss for the fourth quarter was $408 million or $0.64 per share, compared to net income of $1.10 billion or $1.71 per share two years ago.
Total fourth-quarter operating revenue was $9.47 billion, down 17% from the fourth quarter of 2019. Adjusted operating revenue, which excludes third-party refinery sales, was down amounted to $8.4 billion for the quarter. Analysts had estimated an average of $9.21 billion in revenue.
Dan Janki, Delta’s Chief Financial Officer, said, “With the impact of omicron on our near-term outlook, we expect losses in January and February with a return to profitability in March.”
At the end of the December quarter, the company had $14.2 billion in liquidity, including cash and cash equivalents, short-term investments and unused revolving credit facilities. At the end of the December 2021 quarter, the company had total debt and finance lease obligations of $26.9 billion with adjusted net debt of $20.6 billion.
Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta, said, “As always, our people have been the driving force behind this success, which is why we were pleased to announce this morning a special profit sharing payout for all employees. eligible.”
Shares of Delta Air Lines rose 2% in premarket trading on Thursday.
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