Shares of Delta Air Lines Inc. DAL rallied 2.4% in premarket trading Thursday, to bounce off a three-month low, after the air carrier lowered its third-quarter profit outlook but was upbeat on revenue. The company said it now expects earnings per share for the quarter that ends September of $1.85 to $2.05, down from previous guidance of $2.20 to $2.50, and below the FactSet consensus of $2.31. But revenue is expected to be in the “upper half” of its previous growth guidance of 11% to 14%, while the FactSet consensus of $14.48 billion implies 12.7% growth. Like all the carriers providing updates in the past week, Delta also raised its estimate for fuel costs per gallon, to $2.75 to $2.90 from $2.50 to $2.70. And Delta said non-fuel costs are expected to be up 1% to 2% from last year, above initial guidance, due to higher-than-expected maintenance costs. Delta’s stock had dropped 2.8% on Wednesday to its lowest close since June 8 after rival American Airlines Group Inc. AALcut its earnings outlook. Delta’s stock has still rallied 20.4% year to date through Wednesday, while the U.S. Global Jets ETF JETS has gained 4.9% and the S&P 500 SPX has advanced 16.4%.
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