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Delta Air Lines Inc.’s third-quarter profit exceeded analyst expectations as the carrier’s efforts to trim growth in available seats gave it more control over fares.
Adjusted earnings were $1.70 a share, surpassing the $1.65 average of 15 estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales fell to $10.5 billion, in line with estimates. Unit revenue, a key industry measurement, may fall by 3 percent to 5 percent in the current quarter, a smaller decline than the 6.8 percent drop in the third quarter, the carrier said in a statement Thursday.
Delta has been paring growth as a glut of seating capacity drags down fares across the U.S. airline industry. The Atlanta-based carrier will continue with a modest capacity expansion next year, Chief Executive Officer Ed Bastian said.
“With our focus on building a more sustainable and durable business, we will be taking a cautious approach to 2017 by keeping our capacity in line with the December quarter’s 1 percent growth level,” Bastian said in the statement.
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