Delta highlights its powerful brand, competitive advantages and future opportunities at annual Investor Day

Delta Air Lines has released this statement:

Leadership at Delta today will highlight its long-term business strategy and 2019 financial targets at the company’s annual Investor Day.

“Delta is leading the way with our powerful brand and unmatched competitive advantages. In 2018, the Delta people have delivered another year of industry-leading financial results, sustained improvement in customer satisfaction and solid returns for our owners,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s chief executive officer. “We have a bright future ahead and are confident in our plan for double-digit earnings growth in 2019 of $6 to $7 per share with both top-line growth and margin expansion.”

The leadership team will discuss:

  • How the company’s powerful consumer brand, combined with Delta’s unmatched competitive advantages – culture, operational reliability, global network, customer loyalty and an investment-grade balance sheet – create opportunities for sustained revenue and earnings growth.
  • Expectations for 2019 profits above $5 billion for a fifth consecutive year, driven by revenue growth and margin expansion, with a 15 percent after-tax return on invested capital.
  • Top-line growth in 2019 of 4 to 6 percent, driven by an increasingly diverse revenue stream, premium product mix, and a pipeline of initiatives.
  • Non-fuel unit cost growth trajectory improving as efficiency initiatives gain momentum and Delta’s fleet transformation continues.

“Delta has a great runway of opportunity as we continue to provide superior travel experiences and industry-leading reliability for our customers” said Glen Hauenstein, Delta’s President. “Our pipeline of commercial initiatives and brand momentum drive our expectations for 4 to 6 percent revenue growth in 2019.”

Delta will outline its financial framework and introduce financial targets for 2019, including:

  • Diluted earnings per share of $6 to $7, with pre-tax margin expansion of approximately 100 basis points at midpoint
  • Top-line growth of 4 to 6 percent on 3 percent capacity expansion
  • Non-fuel unit cost growth of approximately one percent

“2018 has demonstrated Delta’s resiliency as we’ve overcome 90 percent of a $2 billion headwind from fuel costs” said Paul Jacobson, Delta’s Chief Financial Officer. “With a structurally improved business model that produces strong cash generation, we remain committed to continued reinvestment in our business, an investment-grade balance sheet and industry-leading shareholder returns.”

The Investor Day event will feature presentations and Q&A sessions with:

  • Ed Bastian, Chief Executive Officer
  • Glen Hauenstein, President
  • Gil West, Chief Operating Officer
  • Tim Mapes, Chief Marketing Officer
  • Eric Phillips, Senior Vice President – Revenue Management
  • Rahul Samant, Chief Information Officer
  • Joanne Smith, Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Paul Jacobson, Chief Financial Officer

Delta invites shareholders, the investment community and the media to listen to a live webcast of this event today from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET.  A live webcast will be available at http://ir.delta.com/news-and-events/calendar/.  An online replay will be available at the same site shortly after the webcast is complete.

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