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A couple of major airlines announced earnings last night:

Delta’s results badly missed Wall Street expectations, despite a 12 percent increase in sales.

Excluding special items _ primarily a $6.1 billion non-cash charge relating to the drop in Delta’s market value due to sustained record fuel prices _ the airline lost $274 million in the first quarter. A spokeswoman said Delta would have recorded the charge regardless of the tie-up with Northwest.

Northwest took a $3.9 billion charge of its own related to its market value decline. Its loss came despite a 9 percent increase in sales, and Northwest, too, missed analysts’ earnings expectations.

Excluding the accounting charge and losses from some fuel hedges, Northwest said it would have lost $191 million in the quarter.

Putting the companies results together… drum roll please:

Delta and Northwest, seeking to combine to create the world’s largest airline, posted losses Wednesday totaling $10.5 billion for the first three months of the year due to exorbitant fuel prices and write-downs of their companies’ value.

Que Lindo! What romantics!

Delta, Northwest lose combined $10.5B on high fuel, charges
Harry R. Weber
The Huffington Post