Airline stocks jump after Delta raises first-quarter earnings guidance on strong demand

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Airline stocks jumped Tuesday after Delta Air Lines said record performance and healthy demand drove the carrier to raise its earnings and revenue guidance for the first quarter.

Delta’s shares jumped 4.6 percent while United and American rose 3.8 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively. Southwest Airlines, JetBlue, Spirit and Alaska Air Group were all trading higher Tuesday morning.

Delta told investors it expects to earn between 85 cents and 95 cents per share during the first quarter, up from its previous estimate of 70 cents to 90 cents per share, on an adjusted basis. Prior to Tuesday’s announcement, analysts expected the company to earn 80 cents a share for the first three months of the year.

Fuel costs are less expensive than originally projected, the company said, adding that they will be about the same or about half a percentage point higher than last year. It previously estimated fuel costs would be up 1 to 2 percent.

CORRECTION: This article has been updated to correct the analysts’ estimates. It was 80 cents a share.

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