Delta slashes 2018 forecast, quarterly profit drops

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Delta Air Lines Boeing 737 plane arrives in Salt Lake City© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Delta Air Lines Boeing 737 plane arrives in Salt Lake City

(Reuters) – Delta Air Lines Inc (N:) reported a 13.6 percent drop in quarterly profit on Thursday as its operating expenses swelled due to a 38.8 percent jump in fuel costs.

The No.2 U.S. carrier slashed its full-year earnings outlook to a range of $5.35 to $5.70 per share from $6.35 to $6.70 per share and said it expected its fuel bill in 2018 to surge by $2 billion.

The company’s net income fell to $1.03 billion, or $1.47 per share, in the second quarter ended June 30, from $1.19 billion, or $1.62 per share, a year earlier.

The total unit revenue – a measure which compares sales with flight capacity – increased 4.6 percent in the quarter, boosted by higher average fares.

On an adjusted basis, the airline earned $1.77 per share.

Delta’s total operating revenue rose 9.6 percent to $11.78 billion in the quarter.

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