Delta 4Q profit soars on higher fares, demand

Delta Airlines plane

Delta says it earned $425 million in the fourth-quarter as it raised prices in the critical holiday season while reducing flying to keep costs low.

The Atlanta airline said its profit amounted to 50 cents per share. Excluding one-time gains and losses, it earned 45 cents per share in the most recent quarter. In the same period a year earlier, it earned just $19 million, or 2 cents per share.

Revenue rose 8 percent to $8.4 billion. Fuel expenses rose 5 percent. Other costs were flat. The money it made to fly a passenger a single mile rose 12 percent due to higher fares.

Analysts polled by FactSet Research expected Delta Air Lines Inc. to earn 37 cents per share on revenue of $8.32 billion.