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Fri, Nov 10, 2006

Delta Posts Q3 Profit... With A Catch

One-Time Gain Helps Carrier

It turns out Delta Air Lines won't have to pay as much as previously thought to restructure financing for many of its planes... and those cost-savings helped the bankrupt carrier post a $52 million net profit in the third quarter.

That's Delta's first net profit since it entered bankruptcy in September 2005... and compares quite well to last year's loss of $1.13 billion for the same period. Despite the good news -- and Delta will take all it can get right now -- that net gain isn't likely to recur in the future.

The Associated Press reports Delta realized a one-time, $98 million gain in non-cash assets from its recently renegotiated aircraft financing arrangements.

Excluding items related to its ongoing reorganization, Delta reports it lost $46 million in the quarter, on revenue that increased to $4.66 billion. The carrier has $2.8 billion of unrestricted cash on hand.

One positive quarter does not a successful year make, though. Through September, Delta has lost $4.22 billion -- up from $2.6 billion for the same time last year.

But the future does look brighter for the nation's number three airline... as passenger loads remain high, and fuel prices are going down. The carrier also announced Thursday it would recall 1,000 flight attendants next year.

Delta has announced it expects to exit bankruptcy sometime in 2007.

FMI: www.delta.com

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