Delta Air Lines Third Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, October 24, 2012. Delta Air Lines operates as an airline, providing scheduled air transportation for passengers and cargo throughout the United States and around the world.

Delta Air Lines Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for net income of 91 cents per share, no change from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from $1.21. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It also has dropped from 99 cents during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 35.5% compared to last year’s $1.91.

Past Earnings Performance: The company topped forecasts last quarter after being in line with estimates the quarter prior. In the second quarter, it reported profit of 69 cents per share versus a mean estimate of 68 cents. Two quarters ago, it reported net loss of 5 cents per share.

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A Look Back: In the second quarter, the company swung to a loss of $168 million (20 cents a share) from a profit of $198 million (23 cents) a year earlier, but beat analyst expectations. Revenue rose 6.3% to $9.73 billion from $9.15 billion.

Stock Price Performance: From September 20, 2012 to October 18, 2012, the stock price rose $1.06 (11.6%), from $9.15 to $10.21. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between January 23, 2012 and January 30, 2012, when shares rose for six straight days, increasing 15.9% (+$1.48) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between August 21, 2012 and August 30, 2012 when shares fell for eight straight days, dropping 11.9% (-$1.16) over that span.

Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $9.65 billion in revenue this quarter, a rise of 5.5% from the year-ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $36.93 billion for the year, a rise of 5.2% from last year’s revenue of $35.12 billion.

Key Stats:

On the top line, the company is looking to build on four-straight revenue increases heading into this earnings announcement. Revenue rose 9.7% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year, 7.8% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year and 8.6% in the first quarter before increasing again in the second quarter.

Analyst Ratings: With nine analysts rating the stock a buy, none rating it a sell and two rating the stock a hold, there are indications of a bullish stance by analysts.

Balance Sheet Analysis: The company’s current ratio of assets to liabilities came in at 0.58 last quarter. The current ratio is an indication of a firm’s liquidity and ability to meet creditor demands and generally, a ratio less than one could indicate a company may have difficulty meeting current obligations. The company regressed in this liquidity measure from 0.61 in the first quarter to the last quarter driven in part by an increase in liabilities. Current liabilities increased 7.7% to $14.69 billion while assets rose 1.9% to $8.46 billion.

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(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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