Delta's December revenues show surprise jump, airline stocks soar

|About: Delta Air Lines, Inc. (DAL)|By:, SA News Editor

Airline stocks were flying high today, led by Delta Air Lines (DAL) after it reported better than expected December revenue, as consolidated passenger unit revenue jumped 10% Y/Y driven by continuing strong demand and benefits from the timing of the Thanksgiving holiday; DAL also enjoyed lower than expected fuel costs for the month.

After DAL's announcement, S&P Capital IQ raised its rating on DAL shares to Strong Buy from Buy, lifted its estimates for 2013 and 2014 profits, and hiked its price target to $40 from $30 in the belief that DAL is likely to continue to take in more per-seat revenue than other airlines.

DAL rose 5.5%, just missing a 52-week high, while Southwest (LUV) gained 2.8% and hit 52-week highs.

Also: UAL +5.8%, AAL +4.6%, JBLU +5.2%, HA +7.1%, RJET +6.2%, SAVE +4.2%, ALK +1.8%, SKYW +1.2%.