The winter blues didn't get Delta Airlines down.
Shares of the airline (DAL) soared to a record high Wednesday after the company reported a 5% increase in passenger revenue in the first quarter despite a $90 million loss related to weather cancellations.
The unusually severe winter weather was expected to cause more headaches for Delta, like it did for legions of passengers. The company said it cancelled more than 17,000 flights in January and February for weather reasons, twice as many as the same period in 2013.
But Delta, like other airlines, benefited from healthy demand in the U.S., said Joseph DeNardi, an airlines analyst with Stifel Nicolaus. And some of its hubs didn't get hit as hard by the weather as those of its competitors.
Delta's earnings come on the heels of an already remarkable turnaround run. The stock has skyrocketed 118% in the past year, lifted by higher fares, good relationships with airline unions, and overall consolidation in the industry.
"They did a great job, they delivered a great product, and they're getting paid for it," said Helane Becker of Cowen and Company.
Delta shares traded for less than $10 for much of 2012. They're now above $36.
As for Delta's high-flying stock price , Becker said she's not surprised. She predicts it will climb even higher.
"People forget how much money airlines can make," she said.
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