Analysts polled by Thomson Financial, on average, forecast profit of 10 cents a share. Their estimates usually do not include one-time items.
Revenue rose 10 percent to $5.5 billion, compared to $5 billion recorded a year earlier. Analysts estimated revenue at $5.4 billion.
Delta recorded special charges totaling $1.2 billion in the second quarter, including a $1.1 billion non-cash charge, net of a $119 million tax benefit, related to the decline in Delta's market value due to sustained record fuel prices.
Additional special charges included a $96 million severance charge for previously announced voluntary work force reduction programs and a $6 million charge related to facilities restructuring.
For the first six months of the year, Delta said it lost $7.43 billion, or $18.79 a share, compared to a profit of $1.46 billion for the same period a year earlier.
Six-month revenue increased to $10.27 billion, compared to $9.24 billion a year earlier.
As of June 30, 2008, Delta had $4.3 billion in unrestricted liquidity, including $1 billion available under a revolving credit line.
Several major airlines have announced they are cutting domestic capacity, deferring plane orders or shedding jobs because of soaring fuel prices.
Delta spent $1.68 billion on aircraft fuel and related taxes in the second quarter, compared to $1.11 billion a year ago.
Delta intends to cut domestic capacity by 13 percent during the second half of the year. International capacity will increase 14 percent.
The company is now targeting to remove the equivalent of 100 regional aircraft from its system by the end of the year. Bastian said more aircraft could be pulled out if demand is weak.
Delta is seeking shareholder and regulatory approval for its plan to acquire Eagan, Minn.-based Northwest in a stock-swap deal that would create the world's largest carrier by traffic.
On Tuesday, Delta announced plans for the composition of its senior leadership team after it acquires Northwest. The carrier expects the transition of Northwest's operations into Delta to last 12 to 24 months.
Delta shares rose 73 cents, or 15.6 percent, to $5.39 in midday trading. The stock has traded in a 52-week range of $4 to $21.80.
Shares of AMR jumped $1, or 22.7 percent, to $5.41 in midday trading just a day after hitting a 52-week low of $4.
AMR said that for the three months ending June 30, it lost $1.45 billion, or $5.77 per share, compared to a profit of $317 million, or $1.08 per share, a year ago.
Excluding special charges to write down the value of its fleet, AMR said it would have lost $284 million, or $1.13 per share.
Analysts, who typically exclude charges from their forecasts, expected AMR to lose $1.40 per share, according to a survey by Thomson Financial.
Revenue rose 5.1 percent, to $6.18 billion. Analysts expected $6.14 billion.