Delta 3Q profit surges on fuel contract gains

Friday, October 19, 2012, Vol. 36, No. 42

NEW YORK (AP) — Delta Air Lines Inc. says its third-quarter profit nearly doubled mostly due to the increasing value of its fuel contracts.

The Atlanta airline says it earned $1.05 billion, or $1.23 per share, compared with $549 million, or 65 cents, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, it earned $768 million or 90 cents — just shy of Wall Street expectations of 91 cents.

Revenue rose 1 percent to $9.92 billion, also just under analysts' estimate of $9.93 billion, according to FactSet. Delta Air Lines Inc. says revenue was driven by its effort to trim seats according to demand.

Fuel costs dropped 23 percent. Overall, operating expenses fell 4 percent. Other expenses related to items like debt and interest fell 18 percent.