Delta Air Lines posts 4th-qtr loss after fuel hedging

Jan 20 (Reuters) - Delta Air Lines Inc said on Tuesday it lost $712 million last quarter largely due to fuel hedge settlements, although the carrier topped analysts’ estimates.

For the fourth quarter, the Atlanta-based carrier lost 86 cents per diluted share, including a $1.2 billion charge for mark-to-market adjustments on fuel hedges, which Delta had previously announced.

The airline earned $649 million, or 78 cents per diluted share, excluding special items, compared with the analysts’ average estimate of 77 cents per diluted share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The Wall Street estimates excluded special charges.

Shares rose about 0.6 percent to $47.50 in premarket trading. (Reporting by Jeffrey Dastin; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)