Ramin Talaie | Corbis | Getty Images
Delta Airlines planes taxi at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta, GA.
Delta Air Lines on Wednesday posted third-quarter earnings and revenue that topped Wall Street expectations.
The No. 2 U.S. airline reported adjusted earnings per share of $1.57, beating analysts’ expectations of $1.53 a share for a quarter that ended with hurricanes that crippled operations.
Earnings per share were about 8 percent lower over the year-earlier period.
The airline posted quarterly revenue of $11.06 billion, slightly higher than expectations for $11.03 billion in the three months ended in September.
Delta’s passenger revenue per available seat mile — a key income metric — rose 1.9 percent, in line with the airline’s updated forecast earlier last month.
Hurricane Irma, which struck Florida and Delta’s hub in Atlanta, forced the airline to cancel more than 2,000 flights.
Airline stocks surged on Tuesday after Delta competitors United Airlines and American Airlines, which report later this month, issued better-than-expected quarterly estimates.
Forecasts for Delta’s domestic competitors are pointing to lower quarterly earnings as airlines grapple with how to grow profits with persistently low fares, and higher labor and fuel costs.
Delta executives will likely address the impact from deadly storms that hit carriers’ hubs late this summer, as well as a bitter trade dispute between two Delta suppliers, Boeing and Canada’s Bombardier.