Delta's cash position at Dec 31, 2004 was $2.1 billion, of which $1.8 billion was unrestricted cash. So, no they are not going to file for Chpt. 11 in the next two quarters at least. If the economy and traffic hold up and if fuel prices do not go up further, they may never need to, especially since the cost savings will start kicking in throughout 2005.
If you look at the numbers closely (after clearing all this smoke about the "largest loss in history", etc.) - I tend to look at the Operating Expenses vs. Operating Revenues numbers since that reflects the core of how Delta is functioning, their operating expenses for Q4
2004 after subtracting the one-time "Impairment of intangible assets" of $1.9 million, was $4.02 billion compared to $3.98 billion for Q4
2003 - and this was with a whopping increase in fuel costs from $510m in 2003 to $895m. Their operating loss for Q4
2004 came in around the same as Q4
2003 despite the 76% rise in fuel costs. If fuel prices remained at the Q4
2003 level, they would have reported a much smaller operating loss of $21m this quarter, compared to $365m in the same quarter last year.
Once the labor savings and additional cuts take effect throughout 2005, you should see improvements (though still probably losses) progressively through the 2005 quarters.
Another hopeful sign is that early results after the rollout of Simplifares is that yields and bookings have been largely in line with expectations, and there has been a "significant improvement" in the load factor