(Reuters) - Delta Airlines
Shares of Delta, the second largest carrier behind United Continental
BMC will be replaced in the index on Tuesday because Bain Capital LLC is expected to complete its acquisition of BMC on or around that day, S&P said.
Delta, which filed for bankruptcy in 2005 and acquired Northwest Airlines in 2008, has improved profits and reduced debt in recent years. It last paid a common stock dividend in 2003, and its last share buyback plan was in 2000.
To cut costs, Delta has been retiring fuel-guzzling planes and acquiring used aircraft, and it bought a Pennsylvania oil refinery last year.
In May, Delta said it planned to return $1 billion to shareholders over the next three years, starting with its first dividend in a decade and a $500 million share buyback program. The initiatives are part of a five-year plan that seeks to generate as much as $5 billion in value for investors.
Airlines, which weathered a tough decade after the September 11, 2001, attacks, have gained more solid financial footing and are now focusing on improving their investment potential.
(Reporting by Nicola Leske; Editing by Bernard Orr and Leslie Adler)