MONEY FOR SHAREHOLDERS: Delta Air Lines Inc. will pay 6 cents a share to its shareholders in September. That's its first dividend since 2003. It's also buying back $500 million in shares by mid-2016.
WHAT IT MEANS: Airline finances have generally been too shaky over the past 10 years for them to spare cash for shareholders. Delta's plans are a sign that is changing, at least at Delta.
WHAT'S NEXT: Some analysts believe United and American will eventually pay dividends, but probably not for a long time, until they wrap up their mergers and show consistent profits.