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Wall Street Closes Higher Wednesday

- By Omar Venerio

U.S. stocks were in positive territory on Wednesday . The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.03% to 26,157, the S&P 500 index rose 0.35% to 2,888 and the Nasdaq Composite Index swelled 0.70% to 7,964.

Shares of Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL) climbed almost 2% on Wednesday after the company announced first-quarter results. Revenue grew 5% from the prior-year quarter to $10.47 billion, beating expectations by $60 million. Earnings of 96 cents per share beat estimates by 5 cents.


In a statement, CEO Ed Bastian said the company was off to a "solid start" in 2019.

"Our March quarter performance demonstrates the power of our growing brand preference, our unmatched competitive advantages, and most importantly the Delta (DGAS) people who are committed to providing the best travel experiences for our customers every day," he said. "I'm pleased to recognize their efforts with $220 million toward next year's profit sharing."

Operating cash flow was $2 billion for the quarter, driven by improved profitability despite the $1.3 billion profit-sharing payment to employees. Free cash flow was $760 million, which was impacted by the investment of $1.3 billion in aircraft purchases.

Moreover, the company returned $1.6 billion to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends.

Looking ahead to the second quarter, the company expects earnings per share in the range of $2.05 to $2.35. It also projects revenue growth between 6% and 8%.

Gainers

  • Conagra Brands Inc. (CAG)
  • Kroger Co. (KR)
  • Valero Energy Corp. (VLO)
  • Under Armour Inc. (UA)
  • Noble Energy Inc. (NBL)



Losers

  • Humana Inc. (HUM)
  • Fox Corp. (FOX)
  • Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM)
  • Boeing Co. (BA)
  • Kohl's Corp. (KSS)



Global markets

The main European stock markets traded mixed. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 declined 0.05%, France's CAC 40 gained 0.25%, Germany's Dax rose 0.47% and Spain's IBEX 35 lost 0.01%.

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.53%, India's BSE Sensex lost 0.91%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng slid 0.13% and China's Shanghai Composite swelled 0.07%.

Disclosure: The author holds no positions in any stocks mentioned.

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This article first appeared on GuruFocus.