Sept 6 Delta Airlines will join the S&P
500 index after the close of trading on Sept. 10, replacing BMC
Software, Standard & Poor's said on Friday.
Shares of Delta, the second largest carrier behind United
Continental, rose 4.6 percent to $20.80 in after-hours
BMC will be replaced in the index on Tuesday because Bain
Capital LLC is expected to complete its acquisition of BMC on or
around that day, S&P said.
Delta, which filed for bankruptcy in 2005 and acquired
Northwest Airlines in 2008, has improved profits and reduced
debt in recent years. It last paid a common stock dividend in
2003, and its last share buyback plan was in 2000.
To cut costs, Delta has been retiring fuel-guzzling planes
and acquiring used aircraft, and it bought a Pennsylvania oil
refinery last year.
In May, Delta said it planned to return $1 billion to
shareholders over the next three years, starting with its first
dividend in a decade and a $500 million share buyback program.
The initiatives are part of a five-year plan
that seeks to generate as much as $5 billion in value for
Airlines, which weathered a tough decade after the Sept. 11,
2001, attacks, have gained more solid financial footing and are
now focusing on improving their investment potential