Delta Air Lines, Inc. DAL delivered impressive traffic figures for August. Consolidated traffic, measured in revenue passenger miles (RPMs) came in at 22.4 billion, up 3.6% year over year.
Consolidated capacity (or available seat miles/ASMs) expanded 3.5% to 25.5 billion on a year-over-year basis. Consolidated load factor (percentage of seats filled by passengers) increased 10 basis points to 88%, as traffic growth outpaced capacity expansion.
Strong demand for air travel led to increase in load factor. In fact, this Atlanta, GA-based carrier transported 18.3 million passengers in the month, up 4% on a year-over-year basis. Additionally, the carrier recorded an on-time performance (mainline) of 83.3% and completion factor (mainline) of 99.8% for August.
At the end of the first eight months of 2018, Delta generated RPMs of 153.7 billion (up 3.2% year over year) and ASMs of 178.9 billion (up 3.2% year over year). Load factor remained unchanged at 85.9% on a year-over-year basis.
However, the Delta stock lost 2.8% of its value on Sep 5 in spite of posting impressive traffic numbers. We believe that the decision of the carrier to not increase third-quarter earnings per share (EPS) guidance despite robust demand for air travel led to the decline in stock price.
Delta Air Lines, Inc. Price
Delta Air Lines, Inc. Price | Delta Air Lines, Inc. Quote
At the Cowen and Company 11th Annual Global Transportation Conference, this airline behemoth stated that it still expects third-quarter EPS between $1.65 and $1.85. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-quarter earnings is currently at $1.77, well within the guidance.
Zacks Rank & Key Picks
Delta carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A few better-ranked stocks in the broader Transportation Sector are CSX Corp. CSX , Norfolk Southern Corp. NSC and Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc. ODFL . While Old Dominion carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), CSX and Norfolk Southern sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .
Shares of CSX, Norfolk Southern and Old Dominion have gained 32.1%, 24.3% and 11.8% in the past six months, respectively.
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Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Delta Air Lines, Inc. (DAL): Free Stock Analysis Report Norfolk Southern Corporation (NSC): Free Stock Analysis Report CSX Corporation (CSX): Free Stock Analysis Report Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc. (ODFL): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research