* Carrier says revenue stabilizing after April weakness
* Airline shares up as oil falls
May 15 Delta Air Lines Inc on Wednesday
said it expects improved profit in the second quarter, aided by
lower fuel prices.
Stable revenues and declining fuel prices "should couple to
make for some very nice margin expansion in the quarter," Delta
President Edward Bastian told a Bank of America Merrill Lynch
conference that was broadcast over the Internet.
He said unit revenue, an important measure also known as
passenger revenue per available seat mile, was stabilizing in
May after weakening in April. For May, he said that metric was
expected to be flat or to improve modestly.
"Our summer bookings look solid," Bastian told the
conference. "While corporate demand across the industry appears
to be flat in terms of overall corporate spend, our corporate
revenues this year to date are up 4 percent as we continue to
Declining oil prices can help airlines, whose biggest costs
are fuel and labor. On Wednesday, U.S. oil was down 1.7
percent to $92.57 a barrel, declining for a fifth straight day
Shares of Delta were up 5.8 percent to $19.31 on Wednesday
as other airline stocks rose. Industry leader United Continental
Holdings Inc was up 4.7 percent to $34.85, US Airways
Group Inc gained 3.6 percent to $18.75 and Southwest
Airlines Co was up 1.9 percent to $14.24.
(Reporting by Karen Jacobs; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)