Delta Air Lines has reported a pre-tax income of was $1.6 billion, excluding special items, for the three months to September, an increase of $431 million over the September 2013 quarter.
The airline’s net income for the September 2014 quarter was $1.0 billion, or $1.20 per diluted share, and its operating margin was 15.8 per cent, excluding special items.
On a GAAP basis including special items, Delta’s pre-tax income was $579 million, operating margin was 7.5 per cent and net income was $357 million, or $0.42 per diluted share.
“With another record profit, solid margin expansion and nearly $1 billion of free cash flow, Delta’s results are consistent with high-quality S&P 500 industrials,” said Richard Anderson, Delta’s chief executive officer.
“While we have more work ahead of us to achieve our long-term financial goals, we expect a record fourth quarter of 2014 with an operating margin of 10-12 per cent.
“For the full year, we expect a pre-tax profit in excess of $4 billion.
“We have the right foundation in place for an even stronger 2015, proven strategies for Delta, and 80,000 Delta employees who are the very best in the industry.”
Results include $384 million in profit sharing expense in recognition of Delta employees’ contributions toward achieving the company’s financial goals, which makes a year-to-date profit sharing accrual of $823 million.
Delta generated $910 million of free cash flow during the September 2014 quarter.
The company used its strong cash generation in the quarter to reduce its adjusted net debt to $7.4 billion and return $325 million to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases.