Delta 4Q profit rises after traffic, fare gains

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Associated Press

Posted on January 21, 2014 at 7:01 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 21 at 7:02 AM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Delta is reporting better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit as fares and traffic rose.

Delta's yield — a key measure of what each passenger pays to fly one mile — rose 4 percent.

Not counting a non-cash adjustment for taxes, Delta earned $558 million, or 63 cents per share. Revenue rose 6 percent to $9.08 billion. Both were better than analysts expected, with one-time items excluded on profit.

Delta's net income was $8.48 billion because of a one-time, $8 billion accounting benefit related to taxes.

A year earlier, Delta earned $7 million, or a penny per share, after Superstorm Sandy hurt profits.

Delta Air Lines Inc. expects to boost the amount of flying it does by 2 percent to 3 percent during the current quarter. Capacity rose just 1 percent last year.

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