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Delta forecasts second-quarter profit above expectations

(Reuters) – Delta Air Lines Inc forecast second-quarter profit above Wall Street expectations and reported a 31 percent rise in quarterly profit on Wednesday, boosted by a renewed agreement with credit-card issuer American Express and robust travel demand.

The company said it expects profit for the second quarter to be in the range of $2.05 per share to $2.35 per share.

At the midpoint of the range, the profit forecast was above average analyst estimate of $2.13 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The airline forecast total unit revenue, a closely watched performance metric, to increase 1.5 percent to 3.5 percent in the second quarter.

The No.2 U.S. carrier’s net income rose to $730 million in the first quarter ended March 31 from $557 million a year earlier. On an adjusted basis, Delta earned 96 cents per share, beating expectations of 90 cents per share.

Total operating revenue rose 5.1 percent to $10.47 billion in the quarter.

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