Delta expects solid third-quarter profit, notes rising fuel

Sept 6 Thu Sep 6, 2012 10:16am EDT

Sept 6 (Reuters) - U.S. carrier Delta Air Lines Inc said on Thursday it expects a "solidly profitable" third quarter even as rising fuel prices pressure margins.

The carrier expects an operating margin of 9 percent to 11 percent for the third period, about one point lower than an earlier expectation, because of higher fuel costs, it told a Deutsche Bank investor conference.

Southwest Airlines Co told the conference that while its planes continue to be full, the carrier has seen softness in yields. Tammy Romo, the Southwest senior vice president of planning who will become chief financial officer later this month, said Southwest has been looking to raise fares where it can.

Shares of Delta were up 2.5 percent to $9.10 in morning trading and Southwest was up 1.4 percent to $9.22.

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