Delta Air Lines reports better than expected results; LAN reports net profits; Continental down

The majority of North and South American carriers stocks were down on Tuesday (26-Jan-2010), moving with the wider market. The Dow was flat as investors became cautious of major political and regulatory developments to be announced later this week, overshadowing a third consecutive improvement in US consumer confidence. Meanwhile, oil prices (+0.7%) were up, to USD74.71. The AMEX Airline Index (-1.5%) was pushed lower as a result.

Delta Air Lines reports better than expected results

Delta Air Lines (-1.4%) dropped after reporting a net loss of USD25 million for 4Q2009, compared to a loss of USD1,438 million in the previous corresponding period. For FY2009, the carrier reported a net loss of USD1,237 million, compared to a loss of USD8,922 million in the previous corresponding period.

CEO, Richard Anderson, was upbeat, stating, "2009 was one of the most difficult years [for the] airline industry and we are glad it is behind us. While we are disappointed to report a loss, we are encouraged that revenue and demand trends improved throughout the quarter…As a result of the strategic pieces we put in place in 2009 and the strong momentum of our merger integration, Delta is now positioned to capitalise on the economic recovery under way and expects to generate positive RASM improvements each month of this year".

The carrier added it now expects to see revenue per ASM (RASM) improve in each month of 2010. For FY2009, the carrier witnessed a 14.3% year-on-year drop in passenger revenue per ASM (PRASM), to USD 10.34 cents. See related report: Delta Air Lines in dramatic loss swing

LAN reports net profits for 4Q2009 and FY2009

In further financial news, LAN (-1.4%) reported a 17% year-on-year increase in net profit in 4Q2009, to USD109.8 million. However, for FY2009, net profit was down 31.3%, to USD231.1 million, as operating profit fell 29.7%, to USD435.7 million.

For further news on Delta Air Lines’ and LAN’s results, as well as other news from across the Americas, please see America Airline Daily.

Alaska Air expected to report profit for 4Q2009

Alaska Air (-2.8%) dropped despite a Reuters poll finding analysts on average expect the group to report a 4Q2009 profit of USD0.32 per share, on revenue of US821.2 million. The carrier posted a net loss of USD75.2 million, or USD2.08 per share, in 4Q2008. Alaska Air is expected to report on Thursday (28-Jan-2010).

North & South America selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 26-Jan-2010