Fuel Costs Drag Down Delta Air Lines' Earnings

Falling fuel costs in recent months took some of the sting out of Delta Air Lines' third-quarter loss, but earnings were still down sharply from a year ago.

Delta Airlines Headquarters
Delta Airlines Headquarters

Delta reported a loss of $50 million, or 13 cents a share, compared to a gain of of $220 million, or 56 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

Excluding special items, Delta lost $26 million, or 7 cents a share.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected the company to break even on an earnings per share basis.

Revenue in the quarter rose to $5.72 billion, compared to $5.23 billion in the same quarter last year.

Total operating revenue grew 9%, or almost $500 million, despite a 1% decrease in capacity," citing an "uncertain demand environment."

Delta said it was making progress in closing its merger with Northwest Airlines .