On Thursday, Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) released forecasts projecting slightly lower revenue growth, resulting in airline stocks to falter. According to CNBC, this projection was due to downbeat sales projections from iPhone-maker Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) that stoked concerns of a global slowdown.
Delta shares fell by more than 7% early in the session. Its competitor American Airlines dropped by 10% which marked its lowest point since July 2016. United Airlines was down more than 5%, while Southwest Airlines was trading more than 4% lower. Smaller airlines such as JetBlue airways, discount carrier Spirit Airlines, and Alaska air were also negatively affected.
Airline shares itself fell more than the broader market, which slid after Apple warned first quarter sales would be lower than expected, blaming a slowing Chinese economy, as per CNBC. The NYSE Arca Airline index, which consists of 15 airline carriers, was down close to 5% whereas the S&P 500 dropped by more than 2%.
Delta issued fourth-quarter profit guidance of USD 1.25 to USD 1.30 per share as stated by CNBC. This outlook was higher than its previous forecast in the fall. However, the company also noted that unit revenues in the last 3 months of 2018 likely grew by 3%, which was lower than its previous forecast of 3.5% growth.
“Yield growth from last-minute bookings was more modest than anticipated” the company stated in December. Delta is expected to release its fourth-quarter earnings in mid-January.