Delta Air Lines posted first-quarter net income of $746 million, more than tripling the $213 million net profit the company recorded in the year-ago March quarter. Revenue increased 5.3% year-over-year (YOY) to $9.39 billion.
Delta’s reported adjusted net income for the 2015 first-quarter is $372 million, reflecting $374 million in special items, net of taxes, the bulk of which ($372 million) went to mark-to-market adjustments and settlements on fuel hedges. Another $8 million went to mark-to-market adjustments on hedges owned by Virgin Atlantic. An additional $6 million in special charges were assessed for domestic fleet restructuring.
“[It was] the best March quarter, both operationally and financially, in Delta’s history,” Delta CEO Richard Anderson said. The airline’s “strong cash generation” enabled management to return $500 million to shareholders via dividends and share repurchases. The company additionally made $904 million in pension contributions and doled out $136 million in profit sharing during the quarter.
Delta’s first-quarter operating expenses declined 3.7% YOY to $7.99 billion; the company’s first-quarter operating profit was $1.4 billion, more than doubling the $620 million in operating income Delta reported in 1Q 2014.
Delta’s consolidated traffic was up 3.6% YOY to 46.22 billion RPMs in the first-quarter. Capacity grew 5% YOY to 56.6 billion ASMs; passenger load factor for the March quarter came to 81.7%, down 1 point YOY. Passenger yield dipped 0.4% YOY to 17.14 cents.