Delta Air Lines reported third-quarter net income more than quadrupled to $220 million, or $0.56/share, easily beating analysts' average estimate of $0.42. Delta didn't report EPS last Q3 when it was still in bankruptcy. Revenues rose 10% to $5.23B, a company record, helped by strong demand and industry-wide price hikes on at least seven occasions so far in 2007. Analysts were expecting revenues of $5.10B. Delta's operating margin improved to 8.7% from 3.5% last year. Delta also benefitted from higher international route bookings, as capacity increased double-digits compared to a slight decline in its home market. "With our successful international expansion in 2007 and more destinations planned for 2008, including new service to China and expanded service throughout Africa, we are strengthening our position as the premier global carrier," commented executive VP Glen Hauenstein. The company said it continues to strengthen its balance sheet, having paid down $1.0B in debt during the quarter. Delta is targeting operating margin of 3% to 5% in Q4 and 6% to 7% for the year. Delta's earnings conference call is at 10:00 A.M. (check later for Delta's earnings call transcript). Shares of Delta Air Lines gained 0.20% to $20.00 on Monday.
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