Delta Air Lines reported first-quarter profits that topped estimates on Thursday.
The company earned $1.32 in adjusted earnings per share (EPS), and revenues of $9.25 billion.
A 40% drop in fuel prices lowered the airliner’s spending by $1.45 billion year-over-year, helping to increase its operating cash flow. It paid $1.33 per fuel gallon on average in the third quarer, down from $2.93 a year ago.
Analysts had estimated $1.30 in adjusted EPS, and quarterly revenues of $9.26 billion, according to Bloomberg.
Incoming Delta president Glen Hauenstein said the company’s performance was boosted by other initiatives including its co-branded partnership with American Express.
When Delta reported fourth-quarter earnings in January, it missed profit estimates, and forecast that passenger unit revenue would continue to drop due to currency headwinds.
“We are forecasting a unit revenue decline of 2.5 – 4.5 percent for the June quarter,” Hauenstein said in Thursday’s earnings statement.
“While this is an improvement over our March quarter performance, we are focused on getting unit revenues back to a positive trajectory and we will make adjustments to our fall capacity levels if we are not making sufficient progress over the coming months.”
Delta’s operating revenues took a $5 million hit from the Brussels terror attacks. Overall, they fell 1.5%, or $137 million.
Passenger unit revenues fell 4.6%.
Delta shares rose by as much as 3% in pre-market trading. They’ve gained about 11% over the past 12 months.