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Delta Air Lines posts lower net income, higher revenues YOY in Q3

Delta Air Lines Inc. reported third-quarter GAAP net income of $1.18 billion, or $1.64 per share, down from $1.26 billion, or $1.69 per share, in the year-ago quarter.

The S&P Capital IQ consensus GAAP EPS estimate for the quarter was $1.54.

The airline's total operating revenue increased 5.5% year over year to $11.06 billion from $10.48 billion, despite a $140 million impact from Hurricane Irma.

Delta's total passenger revenue rose to $9.40 billion in the quarter, compared with $9.07 billion in the year-ago period. Passenger unit revenues, or passenger revenue per available seat mile, were up 1.9% from a year earlier.

Cargo revenues increased 12% to $187 million, from $167 million in the year-ago quarter, driven by higher volumes in freight and mail.

During the quarter, the company repurchased $550 million of its shares.

The company expects passenger unit revenue to be up 2% to 4% in the fourth quarter, compared with the fourth quarter of last year. Operating margin is projected to be in the range of 11% to 13%. Delta said it expects continued pressure on margins during the fourth quarter as its unit revenue momentum catches up to the rise in fuel prices that began in July.