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Delta Expects Revenue Down 90% in Current Quarter

By Lou Whiteman – Jun 10, 2020 at 9:45AM

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The airline has made progress adding liquidity, bringing down cash burn.

Delta Air Lines (DAL 0.33%) on Wednesday warned it expects second quarter revenue to fall 90% year over year as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to depress travel demand and flight volumes.

Delta recorded total adjusted revenue of $12.5 billion in the second quarter of 2019, implying that it expects total sales of about $1.25 billion in the current period. Wall Street was expecting $1.5 billion in revenue, down 87.9% from last year, although the consensus was likely a very rough estimate.

Airlines have been hit hard by the pandemic, which has caused travel demand to evaporate and has forced Delta and other carriers to scramble to cut costs and raise capital. The projected revenue decline is staggering, but, overall, Delta presented a solid case that it will survive the crisis.

A Delta jet takes off.

Image source: Delta Air Lines.

In a regulatory filing, Delta said it is on track to reduce its average daily cash outflow to about $40 million by the end of the quarter, down from $100 million per day as of March 31 and ahead of its $50 million daily cash bleed goal for June 30. The airline expects operating expenses to be down 50% year over year in the June quarter. Delta has also benefited from a "stabilization" in refund requests and a small uptick in new bookings.

Delta has targeted zero cash burn by year's end. "We believe this improvement in average daily cash outflow would result from modest continued demand recovery, particularly with domestic leisure travel beginning to return as states lift shelter-in-place orders, and additional cost-cutting initiatives," the airline said in the filing.

The airline has added 100 additional domestic flights for June and plans to continue to rebuild its schedule in the third quarter based on demand.

Delta has also raised more than $10 billion since early March, including government support and senior notes. Delta expects to have between $6 billion and $7 billion in unencumbered assets available as collateral and more than $14 billion in cash and borrowing capacity as of June 30.

Lou Whiteman owns shares of Delta Air Lines. The Motley Fool recommends Delta Air Lines. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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