Critical Analysis of Delta Airline

Critical Analysis of Delta Air Lines, Inc. Financial Reporting and Disclosure Table of Contents Description of Delta Air Lines, Inc. Background, Industry, Market3 Financial Reporting Similarities and Differences4-5 Direction of Disclosure Three Year Comparison5-6 Disclosure Techniques7-8 Financial Derivatives8-9 Financial Statement Analysis Three Year Ratio Analysis10-13 Disclosure of Note Items Application of GAAP13-18 Conclusion Closing Comments18-19 Description of Delta Air Lines, Inc. Background and Products
Delta Air Lines, Inc. was originally formed as Huff Daland Dusters, Inc. on May 30, 1924, in Macon, Georgia. This began as an aerial crop dusting operation until the company moved to Ouachita Parish in northeastern Louisiana, in 1925, and began acting as a passenger airline in late 1929. Collett E. Woolman purchased the company on September 13, 1928, and renamed it Delta Air Service, with headquarters in Monroe. In the ensuing decades, Delta grew through the addition of routes and the acquisition of other airlines.
It transitioned from propeller planes to jets in the 1970s, and entered international competition to Europe in the 1970s and across the Pacific in the 1980s. Delta Air Lines, Inc. is currently a major airline based in the United States headquartered in Atlanta. Delta is the world’s largest airline operating under a single certificate, operating flights on six continents across the globe. Delta operates an extensive domestic and international network, pning North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, the Caribbean and Australia.

Delta and its subsidiary Delta Connection operate over 4,000 flights every day. Delta and the Delta Connection carriers fly to 348 destinations in 64 countries. Industry and Market Typically, airline companies and aircraft manufacturers are more prone to swings in revenue and equity market prices due to the release of economic indicators. Delta had an increase of 38% in domestic revenue since 2008. This is due to increased cargo and baggage handling fees due to new policy implementation. Delta increased its international revenue by 26% since 2008.
This is mostly due to an increased focus in the international arena due to the lower demand and higher competition from discount airliners in the U. S. The airline industry contains a variety of different airlines. Some of Delta’s biggest competitors are AirTran Holdings, Southwest Airlines Company, Continental Airlines, American Airlines, JetBlue Airways, United Airlines, and US Airway Group. All of these competitors are diversified in terms of the number of different things they offer, allowing companies in the industry to have access to a number of different profitable markets.
Similarities and Differences in Financial Reporting Comparison of Annual Report, 10K and 10Q Delta Air Lines, Inc. uses a number of different elements to supply pertinent information to consumers, investors, creditors, employees, and anyone with a general interest in or curiosity about the company. This pertinent information comes in the form of reports that companies file with the Security and Exchange Commission or SEC, such as the company annual report, the 10K and the 10Q.
The annual report is a comprehensive report on a company’s activities throughout the preceding year. Annual reports are intended to give shareholders and other interested persons information about the company’s activities and performance. The 10K is a summary report of a company’s performance that must be submitted annually to the SEC. The 10Q, on the other hand, is a report of a company’s performance submitted quarterly by all public firms to the Securities and Exchange Commission. In the 10Q, firms are required to disclose only newly relevant information egarding their financial position. We see that all three reports are very similar in general as to the information they provide, as well as their purpose. There are a number of similarities and differences between the three reports. The annual report, unlike the 10K and the 10Q, is designed for the benefit of the stockholders and any potential investors. The annual report is published once a year, like the 10K, and usually provides information over a two or three year period to show growth or decline.
The annual report is produced to be aesthetically appealing, with color, pictures, quality paper, and printing all for the benefit of current or potential stockholders. The annual report usually includes a company overview, a letter to shareowners, information on the company and its brands, products, and initiatives, its financial highlights, a list of the members of the board of directors, goals and opportunities, and then any important financial statements, information and notes, all of which is meant to promote investment and provide information.
The 10K is also a form of an annual report but is only filed with the SEC. It is merely a financial snapshot of the company over the previous year and lacks any visually appealing elements. It too includes a company of the important financial statements, information and notes, but unlike the annual report, it gives much more detail and insight into the operations and cash flow functions of the company. The 10K includes detailed information regarding the business, risk factors, properties, legal proceedings, controls and procedures, transaction relationships, and much more.
Like the annual report, the 10K provides information for the current year as well as for one or two years before the current. The 10K is not meant for the benefits of stockholders, but is produced for the sole use of being files with the SEC. The last report is the 10Q, which is a quarterly report filed exclusively with the SEC. This report gives a snapshot of the company’s financial situation in the last quarter, usually a three month period, and also supplies the information for the same quarter in the previous year. The 10Q sually contains information for the total year to date as well. The 10Q, unlike the 10K, is an unaudited version of the financial information and may contain a significant amount of estimation. The report contains sufficiently less information than the other two reports, and gives a general overview of the following topics: financial statements, operations, quantitative and qualitative disclosures, controls, and risk factors. Like the 10K, the 10Q lacks any visually appealing elements because its sole use is for that of the SEC and not for the stockholder’s or potential investors.
While still being of importance, the 10Q is of less important than that of the annual report or 10K because of its unaudited and estimated nature, as well as the fact that it reports on a significantly shorter time period than that of the reports and therefore enables users of the report to draw fewer conclusions. Overall, the 10Q is not as useful as those interested in the financial information because it provides much less detail and gives a much smaller picture of the company’s financial outlook. Direction of Disclosure Three Year Comparison
Over the last three years, Delta Air Lines, Inc. has made few changes in regard to its direction of disclosure. Delta Air Lines, Inc. discloses its Notes to Financial Statements directly following its Financial Statements and Supplementary Data. In 2008 and 2009, Delta Air Lines, Inc. disclosed all of the same eighteen notes to financial statements in the same order. In 2010, the number of notes was increased to nineteen. The three added notes in 2010 consist of Note 8: JFK Development, Note 11: Bankruptcy Claims Resolution, and Note 19: Subsequent Events.
In the 2008 10K, Note 17: Valuation and Qualifying Accounts was stated and kept in the 2009 10K as Note 17 as well. However, it was not included in the 2010 10K. All the Notes added in each year were due to issues that arose within the company. Delta Air Lines, Inc. Note 11: Bankruptcy Claims Resolution was added because In September 2005, we and substantially all of our subsidiaries filed voluntary petitions for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U. S. Bankruptcy Code. On April 30, 2007, the Delta Debtors emerged from bankruptcy.
Under the Delta Debtors’ Joint Plan of Reorganization, most holders of allowed general, unsecured claims against the Delta Debtors received or will receive Delta common stock in satisfaction of their claims. There will be no further material impact to our Consolidated Statements of Operations from the settlement of claims because the holders of such claims will receive under Delta’s and Northwest’s Plan of Reorganization, as the case may be, only their pro rata share of the distributions of common stock contemplated by the applicable Plan of Reorganization.
Delta Air Lines, Inc. Note 8: JFK Redevelopment states the company’s annual rent, operation and maintenance payments for the use of terminal facilities at JFK were approximately $135 million in 2010, and estimate the future annual payments to be approximately $200 million after the project is complete in 2016. We will be responsible for the management and construction of the project and bear construction risk, including cost overruns. As construction progresses, the project will be recorded on our Consolidated Balance Sheet as a fixed asset as if we owned the asset.
We will also record a related construction obligation on our Consolidated Balance Sheet. Future rental payments will reduce this construction obligation and result in the recording of interest expense on our Consolidated Statement of Operations. The last aspect of Delta Air Lines, Inc. direction of disclosure that has changed with the last three years is Note 19: Subsequent Events. In February 2011, the company completed a $100 million offering of Pass Through Certificates and a $135 million offering of Pass Through Certificates through two separate pass through trusts. This has a final maturity in January 2016.
The company received $75 million in net proceeds from the 2010-2B EETC at the closing of the offering and the remaining $59 million is being held in escrow until they refinance other aircraft. Techniques of Disclosure Companies should disclose information as completely as possible in relation to financial condition, contingencies, methods of valuing assets and liabilities, and contracts and agreements. In order to do so, a company may use a number of different disclosure techniques, which include but are not limited to, parenthetical explanations, notes, cross references and contra tems, and supporting schedules. Delta Air Lines, Inc. uses a number of these techniques in the disclosure of their pertinent financial information. Delta Air Lines, Inc. uses parenthetical explanations in a number of different places throughout their financial reporting. Companies use parenthetical explanations to add clarity and completeness where it may be needed. This technique brings additional information into the body of the text or statement an afforded for less oversight by readers or users of the financial information. Delta Air Lines, Inc. uses parenthetical explanations in their financial reporting.
For example, on the balance sheet under “Stockholders’ Equity”, Delta Air Lines, Inc. shows parenthetical explanation of the price per share when stating: Shares of common stock issued and compensation expense associated with equity awards (Treasury shares withheld for payment of taxes, $10. 73 per share). (This example is in the 2010 annual report). Notes are another important technique that companies use for disclosure purposes. Notes allow companies to supply additional information or explanations without writing lengthy or inconvenient parenthetical explanations.
Notes are commonly used to disclose the existence and amount of any dividends in arrears, terms of or obligations concerning purchase commitments, special financial arrangements, financial instruments, depreciation policies, changes in accounting principles or policies, and any contingencies. Companies who use notes are obligated to present all essential facts as completely and precisely as possible in an effort to relay the appropriate and accurate information to readers. Delta Air Lines, Inc. relies heavily on notes in their financial reporting and discloses them in a section called Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
Each of these notes adds or clarifies information already presented in the report. An example of such is Note 4: Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets. This note in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements section of the annual report describes that the company experienced a significant decline in market capitalization primarily from record high fuel prices and overall airline industry conditions. We determined that these factors combined with further increases in fuel prices were an indicator that a goodwill impairment test was required.
As a result, we estimated fair value based on a discounted projection of future cash flows, supported with a market-based valuation. We determined that goodwill was impaired and recorded a non-cash charge of $6. 9 billion for the year ended December 31, 2008. This is just one of many notes disclosed by Delta Air Lines, Inc. in their financial reports (this example is in the 2010 annual report). Cross-references and contra items are another important techniques used to supplement the disclosure of financial information. Cross-referencing shows a direct relationship between an asset and a liability on the balance sheet.
Cross-referencing is not a technique used by Delta Air Lines, Inc. in their disclosure. Along with cross-referencing, Delta Air Lines, Inc. does not disclose any contra or adjunct accounts in its financial reports. Delta Air Lines, Inc. reports its assets at net and does not quantitatively divulge any contra account information. Contra and adjunct accounts are listed on the balance sheet. Contra accounts either reduce an asset, liability, or owner’s equity account. Adjunct accounts increase an asset, liability, or owner’s equity account. Some examples of such accounts are accumulated depreciation and discount or premium on bonds payable.
Delta Air Lines, Inc. does not list any of these accounts specifically in disclosing their financial information, but instead lists all their assets and liabilities at net. The last technique of disclosure to discuss is supporting schedules. Supporting schedules are used to present more detailed information about certain assets or liabilities. Typically, Delta Air Lines, Inc. does not use this technique in disclosure. Financial Derivatives Financial derivative instruments are products developed to manage the financial risks associated with constant change due to volatile markets, new technology, and deregulation.
Derivative instruments help to smooth out fluctuations caused by various types of risk. Companies, such as Delta Air Lines, Inc. use the fair values or cash flows of derivative instruments to offset changes in fair values or cash flows of any at-risk assets. Delta Air Lines, Inc. discloses information on their use of financial derivative products in their Notes under Consolidated Financial Statements. In Note 1: Background and Summary of Significant Policies, Delta Air Lines, Inc. discusses a change in accounting policy in regards to derivative instruments.
In March of 2008, FASB issued “Disclosure about Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities”. The standard requires enhanced disclosure about how and why entities use derivative instruments, how the instruments and related hedging items are accounted for and how the instruments affect an entity’s financial position, performance, and cash flows. This standard amends required disclosures about the fair value of financial instruments in interim and annual financial statements. In Note 3: Risk Management and Financial Instruments, Delta Air Lines, Inc. discuss their disclosure of financial derivatives and how they are accounted for.
Delta Air Lines, Inc. results of operations are materially impacted by changes in aircraft fuel prices. In an effort to manage exposure to this risk, the company periodically enters into derivative instruments generally comprised of crude oil, heating oil and jet fuel swap, collar and call option contracts to hedge a portion of our projected aircraft fuel requirements, including those of our Contract Carriers under capacity purchase agreements. All hedges are recorded at fair value, and gains and losses on hedges are recorded in other income (expense) at net.
Within the Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows, settlements for fair value and cash flow hedges are classified as an operating activity, while all other derivatives are classified as a financing activity. Financial Statement Analysis Analysis: Three Year Ratio Comparison | 2010| 2009| 2008| Liquidity Ratios|  |  |  | Current Ratio: | 0. 64| 0. 79| 0. 81| current assets / current liabilities | | | | Quick or Acid Test Ratio:| 0. 61| 0. 76| 0. 77| current assets – inventories / current liabilities | | | | Current Cash Debt Coverage Ratio:| N/A| 0. 14| -0. 15| net cash from operating activities / average current liabilities| | | | | | | |
Activity Ratios| | | | Receivables Turnover Ratio:| 21. 81| 20. 74| 15. 73| net sales / average (net) trade receivables | | | | Inventory Turnover Ratio:| N/A| N/A| N/A| cost of goods sold / average inventory | | | | Asset Turnover Ratio:| 0. 74| 0. 64| 0. 50| net sales / average total assets| | | | | | | | Profitability Ratios| | | | Profit Margin on Sales: | 0. 02%| -0. 04%| -0. 39%| net income / net sales | | | | Rate of Return on Assets:| 0. 01%| -0. 03%| -0. 20%| net income / average total assets| | | | Rate of Return on Common Stock Equity| 0. 73%| 0. 31%| 1. 5%| net income – preferred dividends / average common stockholder’s equity| | | | Earnings Per Share| $0. 71| -$1. 50| -$19. 06| net income – preferred dividends / weighted shares outstanding| | | | Diluted Earnings Per Share| $0. 70| -$1. 50| -$19. 08| given in the financial statements | | | | Payout Ratio| N/A| N/A| N/A| cash dividends / net income| | | | | | | | Coverage Ratios| | | | Debt to Total Assets Ratio:| 33. 59%| 38. 06%| 35. 50%| debt / total assets| | | | Times Interest Earned:| -0. 61| 1. 74| 13. 20| income before interest and taxes / interest expense| | | | Cash Debt Coverage Ratio:| N/A| 0. 3| 0. 04| net cash from operating activities / average total liabilities| | | | Book Value Per Share: | $1. 08| $0. 30| $1. 87| common stockholder’s equity / outstanding shares | | |  | Explanation A financial analysis of Delta Air Lines, Inc. is best done through the calculation and interpretation of financial ratios. There are four categories of financial ratios: liquidity, activity, profitability, and coverage. Each ratio gives a piece of information about the financial stability of the company and collectively portrays the big picture in regards to finances.
The first type of ratios, liquidity ratios, measures a company’s short-run ability to pay its maturing obligations. The first ratio, the current ratio, is mainly used to give an idea of the company’s ability to pay back its short-term debts with its short-term assets. The higher the current ratio, the more capable the company is of paying its obligations. Delta Air Lines, Inc. current ratio has decreased gradually in the past three current years, which means the company is becoming less capable of paying off their maturing obligations. In all three years Delta Air Lines, Inc. as remained with a current ratio under one. A ratio under one suggests that the company would be unable to pay off its obligations if they came due at that point. The next ratio, the quick/acid test ratio indicates whether a firm has enough short-term assets to cover its immediate liabilities without selling inventory. Like the current ratio, the higher the ratio, the better the financial outlook of the company. Delta Air Lines, Inc. acid test ratio has continued to decrease over the last few years, which is an indication that the company is becoming less liquid. Once again, Delta Air Lines, Inc. atio remained under one, implying that the company is not capable of paying off its maturing debts at this current point in time. The last liquidity ratio is the current cash debt coverage ratio which indicates whether a company can pay off its current liabilities from its operations in a given year. Delta Air Lines, Inc. current cash debt coverage ratio has increased from 2008 to 2009. The information needed to calculate 2010 was unavailable. The higher the current cash debt coverage ratio, the more capable the company is of paying off its current liabilities with the proceeds from its operations in a given year.
Delta Air Lines, Inc. ratio was again below one in the two years calculated, meaning that the proceeds from their operations cannot support their current liabilities. The next type of financial ratios is the activity ratios, which measures how effectively the company is using the assets employed. The first ratio, the receivables turnover, measures the number of times on average a company collects receivables during the period. A low ratio implies that a company should re-assess its credit policies in order to ensure the timely collection of imparted credit that is not earning interest for the firm.
Delta Air Lines, Inc. receivables turnover ratio increased over the last three years, meaning the company gradually started effectively using its employed assets. The inventory turnover ratio shows how many times a company’s inventory is sold and replaced over a period. This ratio should be compared against industry averages. A low turnover implies poor sales or ineffective buying. This ratio could not be calculated for all three years because the company does not have a cost of goods sold since they do not sell inventory.
The last activity ratio, the asset turnover ratio, is useful to determine the amount of sales that are generated from each dollar of assets. Companies with low profit margins have a high asset turnover ratio, and those with high profit margins have a low asset turnover because of pricing strategies. Delta Air Lines, Inc. asset turnover ratio was increased over the last few years and was highest in 2010. This ratio indicates that over the last few years, the company has not been able to effectively use their assets to generate sales.
A third type of financial ratios is the profitability ratios that measure the degree of success and failure of a company during a given period of time. The profit margin on sales measures how much out of every dollar of sales a company usually keeps as earnings. Delta Air Lines, Inc. profit margin on sales had increased gradually over the last few years. While this is a positive indication, the company generally has a lower profit margin than other companies in its industry. The rate of return on assets shows how profitable a company uses its assets during a period of time. Delta Air Lines, Inc. as a low rate of return indicating an inefficient use of assets to generate earnings. This company’s return on assets has increased over the last three years, indicating an increase in profitability. The rate of return on common stockholder’s equity measures a company’s profitability in terms of how much profit the company generates with the money shareholders have invested. Delta Air Lines, Inc. has a rather low rate of return on equity and has not shown consistent growth over the last few years. This indicates less profit per dollar invests, as well as a decrease in company profitability.
The next ratios are the basic earnings per share and the diluted earnings per share. Basic earnings per share are the portion of a company’s profit allocated to each outstanding share of common stock. Diluted earnings per share expand on this idea by including any dilutive securities. Over the last three years, Delta Air Lines, Inc. basic and dilutive earnings per share have increased, indicating an increase in the company’s profitability. The last profitability ratio is the payout ratio, which is the percentage of earnings paid out as dividends to common stockholders. Delta Air Lines, Inc. ayout ratio cannot be calculated due to the fact that this company has no cash dividends. The last type of ratios used for financial analysis is the coverage ratios. Coverage ratios measure the degree of protection for long-term creditors and investors. The debt to total assets ratio shows the proportion of a company’s assets that are financed through debt. Companies with high debt to total asset ratios are said to be “highly leveraged”, and would be in danger if creditors start to demand repayment of debt. Delta Air Lines, Inc. ratio is on the low side and has been consistently low over the last three years.
This could be an indication that many of the company’s assets are not financed through debt, which is good for the company. The times interest earned ratio or TIE is used to measure a company’s ability to meet its debt obligation. It is usually quoted as a ratio and indicates how many times a company can cover its interest charges on a pretax basis. Failing to meet these obligations could force a company into bankruptcy. The next ratio, the cash debt coverage ratio, indicated a company’s ability to repay its obligations from net cash provided by operating activities without having to liquidate the assets employed in its operations.
Delta Air Lines, Inc. is very low which means that liquidation of assets would be required to repay current obligation. The last ratio we must analyze is the book value per share. Book value per share is the amount each share would receive if the company were to liquidate in the basis of amounts reported on the balance sheet. Delta Air Lines, Inc. book value per share has fluctuated significantly over the last few years but increased from 2009 to 2010, which is a good indication. Disclosure of Note Items Standard Applied and Application Delta Air Lines, Inc. ses Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) for all of their financial reporting, disclosure, and statement analysis. Delta Air Lines, Inc. flies globally after its merge North West. The accompanying Consolidated Financial Statements have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the U. S. (GAAP). The company’s Consolidated Financial Statements include the accounts of Delta Air Lines, Inc. and their wholly-owned subsidiaries. As a result of the Merger, the accounts of Northwest are included for all periods subsequent to the Closing Date.
Preparation of these find financial statements require estimates and assumptions affecting the reported amounts of assets and liabilities at the date of the consolidated financial statements, reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period and related disclosures of contingent assets and liabilities. Item 1: Equity Disclosure of stockholder’s equity requires a company to disclose changes in the separate accounts comprising stockholder’s equity in order to make financial statements sufficiently informative.
These changes may be disclosed in separate statements or in the basic financial statements or notes. In October 2009, the Financial Accounting Standards Board issued “Revenue Arrangements with Multiple Deliverables. ” The standard revises guidance on the determination of when individual deliverables may be treated as separate units of accounting and the allocation of consideration among separately identified deliverables. It also expands disclosure requirements regarding an entity’s multiple element revenue arrangements. Item 2: Debt
In terms of long-term debt, disclosure generally must indicate the nature of the liabilities, maturity dates, interest rates, call provisions, conversion privileges, restrictions imposed by creditors, and assets designed or pledged as securities. It is recommended that companies show any assets pledged as a security for the debt in the assets section of the balance sheet. The fair values for all long-term debt should be disclosed if a practical estimation can be made. Lastly, it is required that companies disclose future payments for sinking fund requirements and maturity amounts of long-term debt during each of the next five years.
This type of disclosure allows users of financial statements to evaluate amounts and timing for future cash flows. Any off-balance sheet accounting that a company may do is required to be included in the notes in extensive detail. In Note 5, Delta Air Lines, Inc. acknowledges debt and gives specific details regarding its terms and conditions. For example, during 2010, the company recorded a $391 million loss on extinguishment of debt, of which $304 million related to a non-cash write-off of debt discounts that were recorded as part of purchase accounting.
In the 2010 annual report, the company includes a table summarizing scheduled maturities of the company’s debt, including current. The nature of this disclosure aligns with the GAAP requirements. Item 3: Income Taxes Delta Air Lines, Inc. accounts for deferred income taxes under the liability method. They recognize deferred tax assets and liabilities based on the tax effects of temporary differences between the financial statement and tax bases of assets and liabilities, as measured by current enacted tax rates. A valuation allowance is recorded to reduce deferred tax assets when necessary.
Deferred tax assets and liabilities are recorded net as current and noncurrent deferred income taxes on the Consolidated Balance Sheets. The income tax provisions are based on calculations and assumptions that are subject to examination by the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) and other taxing authorities. Although the positions they have taken on previously filed tax returns are reasonable, they have established tax and interest reserves in recognition that taxing authorities may challenge these positions, which could result in additional liabilities for taxes and interest.
This company reviews and adjusts the reserves as circumstances warrant and events occur, such as lapsing of applicable statutes of limitations, conclusion of tax audits, a change in exposure based on current calculations, identification of new issues, release of administrative guidance or the rendering of a court decision affecting a particular issue. They adjust the income tax provision in the period in which the facts that give rise to the revision become known. Item 4: Earnings per Share
Basic earnings per share (EPS) are net income divided by the weighted average number of common shares outstanding during the period. Diluted EPS includes the incremental shares assumed to be issued upon exercise of stock options and the incremental shares assumed to be issued under performance shares and restricted stock unit arrangements. For the 2010, 2009, and 2008 EPS computations, 18 million, 26 million, and 12 million stock options were excluded from the calculation of weighted shares for diluted EPS because their affects were ant dilutive.
Item 5: Accounts Receivables Accounts receivable primarily consist of amounts due from credit card companies from the sale of passenger airline tickets, customers of the company aircraft maintenance and cargo transportation services and other companies for the purchase of mileage credits under the company’s SkyMiles Program. Delta Air Lines, Inc. provides an allowance for uncollectible accounts equal to the estimated losses expected to be incurred based on historical chargeback’s, write-offs, bankruptcies and other specific analyses.
Bad debt expense and write-offs were not material for the years ended December 31, 2010, 2009 and 2008. Item 6: Cash and Cash Equivalents Short-term, highly liquid investments with maturities of three months or less when purchased are classified as cash and cash equivalents on the Consolidated Balance Sheets and are recorded at cost, which approximates fair value. Restricted cash and cash equivalents on the Consolidated Balance Sheets are primarily held to meet certain projected self-insurance obligations and are recorded at cost, which approximates fair value.
According to Note 2, at December 31, 2010 and 2009, the company recorded $407 million and $419 million, respectively, in restricted cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments and $33 million and $16 million, respectively, in other noncurrent assets on the Consolidated Balance Sheets. Item 7: Short-Term Investments Investments with maturities of greater than three months, but not in excess of one year, when purchased are classified as short-term investments on the company’s Consolidated Balance Sheets.
At December 31, 2010, the short-term investments are treasury bills recorded at cost, which approximates fair value. At December 31, 2009, the short-term investments were invested in a money market fund that was recorded at fair value and liquidated in an orderly manner in 2010. According to Note 2 in the 2010 Annual Report, at December 31, 2010, short-term investments on the Consolidated Balance Sheet consisted of treasury bills and were recorded at cost, which approximates fair value. During the year ended December 31, 2010, Delta Air Lines, Inc. eceived $77 million from an investment in a money market fund that was liquidated in an orderly manner, $71 million of which was recorded in short-term investments on the Consolidated Balance Sheet at December 31, 2009. This investment was classified in Level 3 of the three-tier fair value hierarchy due to uncertainty regarding the timing and expected amount of the distribution. Item 8: Revenue Recognition Delta Air Lines, Inc. recorded the sales of passenger tickets in air traffic liability on the Consolidated Balance Sheets.
Passenger revenue is recognized when they provide transportation or when the ticket expires unused, reducing the related air traffic liability. The company periodically evaluates the estimated air traffic liability and records any adjustments in their Consolidated Statements of Operations. These adjustments relate primarily to refunds, exchanges, transactions with other airlines and other items for which final settlement occurs in periods subsequent to the sale of the related tickets at amounts other than the original sales price.
This company is required to charge certain taxes and fees on passenger tickets, including U. S. federal transportation taxes, federal security charges, airport passenger facility charges and foreign arrival and departure taxes. These taxes and fees are legal assessments on the customer for which Delta Air Lines, Inc. acts as a collection agent. Because they are not entitled to retain these taxes and fees, they do not include such amounts in passenger revenue. The company records a liability when the amounts are collected and reduce the liability when payments are ade to the applicable government agency or operating carrier. Item 9: Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets Delta Air Lines, Inc. applies a fair value-based impairment test to the net book value of goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets on an annual basis and, if certain events or circumstances indicate that an impairment loss may have been incurred, on an interim basis. The annual impairment test date for goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets is October 1. They value goodwill and identified intangible assets primarily using the income approach valuation technique.
These measurements include the following significant unobservable inputs: the projected revenues, expenses and cash flows, an estimated weighted average cost of capital, assumed discount rates depending on the asset and a tax rate. These assumptions are consistent with those hypothetical market participants would use. Since the company is required to make estimates and assumptions when evaluating goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets for impairment, the actual amounts may differ materially from these estimates. Changes in assumptions or circumstances could result in impairment.
Factors which could cause impairment include, but are not limited to, negative trends in our market capitalization, an increase in fuel prices, declining passenger mile yields, lower passenger demand as a result of the weakened U. S. and global economy, interruption to the operations due to an employee strike, terrorist attack, or other reasons, changes to the regulatory environment and consolidation of competitors in the airline industry. According to Note 4, during 2008, Delta Air Lines, Inc. experienced a significant decline in market capitalization primarily from record high fuel prices and overall airline industry conditions.
In addition, the announcement of their intention to merge with Northwest established a stock exchange ratio based on the relative valuation of Delta and Northwest It was determined that these factors combined with further increases in fuel prices were an indicator that a goodwill impairment test was required. As a result, they estimated fair value based on a discounted projection of future cash flows, supported with a market-based valuation. The company determined that goodwill was impaired and recorded a non-cash charge of $6. 9 billion for the year ended December 31, 2008.
Item 10: Inventories Inventories of expendable parts related to flight equipment are carried at moving average cost and charged to operations as consumed. An allowance for obsolescence is provided over the remaining useful life of the related fleet for spare parts expected to be available at the date aircraft are retired from service. The company also provided allowances for parts identified as excess or obsolete to reduce the carrying costs to the lower of cost or net realizable value. These parts are assumed to have an estimated residual value of 5% of the original cost.
Conclusion Closing Statements In summation, Delta Air Lines, Inc. is not a highly profitable company. Although it is currently a major airline in the United States and grew through the addition of routes and the acquisition of other airlines, they are not performing so well due to the economic recession. The current economic environment has taken a toll on the company, like most companies throughout the United States in the last few years. Delta Air Lines, Inc. is not as liquid as it would like to be, and the coverage ratios are being affected.
Over the last few years, the company’s profitability has increased in all facets. If this trend continues, Delta Air Lines, Inc. will be on its way to becoming more liquid and therefore, more financially stable. Delta Air Lines, Inc. management seems to be trying to efficiently utilize all its resources but is falling short in placing this company in a promising financial position. If this company continues to conduct their business in the same manner and direction as they have thus far, then they will fall short of continuing to be a profitable and successful company for years to come.

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