Continental Says it Lost $115 Million in October

Continental Airlines Inc. said Friday it lost about $115 million in October and expects to post a "significant loss" for the fourth quarter and all of 2005.

Chairman and Chief Executive Lawrence W. Kellner said he hoped that a recent pullback in fuel prices would mean losses in November and December losses wouldn't be as large.

Kellner gave the outlook in a recorded message for employees, and the company also disclosed it in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Officials had warned last month that they expected a loss in the fourth quarter, but Friday's filing was the first time the Houston-based carrier had put a dollar figure on October results.

Continental, the No. 5 U.S. carrier, earned $61 million in the July-September quarter on record sales of $3 billion. The net income was much higher than Wall Street had expected, as the company controlled labor costs and packed more passengers into its planes.

Like other U.S. carriers, Continental has sought big wage and benefit cuts from workers to deal with high fuel prices. Three of its rivals, United, Delta Air Lines and Northwest, are operating under bankruptcy protection.

Continental's Class B shares rose 7 cents, to close at $13.25 Friday on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock has traded between $8.50 and $16.60 over the past year.


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