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Delta Air Lines Beats on EPS But GAAP Results Lag

By Seth Jayson – Updated Apr 10, 2017 at 1:42PM

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Just the facts, Fool.

Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) reported earnings on April 23. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended March 31 (Q1), Delta Air Lines met expectations on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue grew slightly. Non-GAAP earnings per share grew. GAAP earnings per share shrank significantly.

Margins dropped across the board.

Revenue details
Delta Air Lines notched revenue of $8.50 billion. The nine analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ expected to see revenue of $8.51 billion on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were the same as the prior-year quarter's.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

EPS details
EPS came in at $0.10. The 14 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ predicted $0.07 per share. Non-GAAP EPS were $0.10 for Q1 compared to -$0.05 per share for the prior-year quarter. GAAP EPS of $0.01 for Q1 were 93% lower than the prior-year quarter's $0.15 per share.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

Margin details
For the quarter, gross margin was 17.2%, 120 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 3.8%, 110 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 0.1%, 140 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. (Margins calculated in GAAP terms.)

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $9.88 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.94.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $37.62 billion. The average EPS estimate is $2.61.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a one-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 549 members out of 938 rating the stock outperform, and 389 members rating it underperform. Among 203 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 130 give Delta Air Lines a green thumbs-up, and 73 give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Delta Air Lines is outperform, with an average price target of $17.53.

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Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor of Motley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Stocks Mentioned

Delta Air Lines Stock Quote
Delta Air Lines
$35.79 (0.22%) $0.08

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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