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Delta Air Lines (DAL) Fourth-Quarter Results Better-Than Expected; Omicron Variant Impacting Travel Industry Recovery

Thursday, January 13, 2022 08:33 AM | Carl Pettit
Delta Air Lines (DAL) Fourth-Quarter Results Better-Than Expected; Omicron Variant Impacting Travel Industry Recovery

On Jan. 13, Delta Air Lines (DAL) posted its December quarter and full-year 2021 financial results. Revenue and earnings for the quarter were better than expected, although the Omicron variant is still of concern to the travel industry.

DAL stock gained 1.23% in pre-market trading today.

Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year Results

Delta Air Lines reported adjusted earnings per share of $0.22 for the quarter, beating estimates of $0.14 per share. Revenue of $9.47 billion came in higher than prior forecasts of around $9.21 billion. Adjusted operating revenue was $8.4 billion. The company reported a full-year 2021 adjusted pre-tax loss of $3.4 billion on adjusted operating revenue of $26.7 billion.

CEO Comments: Recovery and Omicron

“While the rapidly spreading omicron variant has significantly impacted staffing levels and disrupted travel across the industry, Delta’s operation has stabilized over the last week and returned to pre-holiday performance,” CEO Ed Bastian said. “Omicron is expected to temporarily delay the demand recovery 60 days, but as we look past the peak, we are confident in a strong spring and summer travel season with significant pent-up demand for consumer and business travel.”

Looking Ahead: 2022 Losses and Profit

“With omicron impacting our near-term outlook, we expect losses in January and February months with a return to profitability in the month of March,” Dan Janki, Delta’s chief financial officer, remarked. “Despite expectations for a loss in the March quarter, we remain positioned to generate a healthy profit in the June, September and December quarters, resulting in a meaningful profit in 2022.”

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