The parent of American Airlines, the nation's largest carrier, reported a $153 million loss in the third quarter despite a 15 percent rise in revenue, as it was hit by rising jet fuel prices and tough competition from low-cost carriers.
AMR Corp. said it also expected to post a "significant" loss in the fourth quarter. Its chief executive said the results showed the need to accelerate cost-cutting moves.
AMR said it lost 93 cents per share in the July-September period, versus a net loss of $214 million, or $1.33 per share in the year-ago quarter.
Excluding one-time charges and gains, the company said it would have lost $95 million or 58 cents per share, against comparable figures of a $232 million loss, or $1.44 per share, a year ago.
The most recent loss was slightly greater than the 55 cents per share forecast from analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial.
Third-quarter revenue was $5.49 billion, up 15.2 percent from $4.76 billion a year earlier.
Chairman and Chief Executive Gerard Arpey said it was disappointing to swing to a loss after posting its first profit since 2000 in the April-June quarter.
"The fact that we were unable to sustain profitability despite robust customer volumes says a lot about our inability to pass on fuel-price increases to consumers," Arpey said. "This underscores the need to accelerate our cost-cutting initiatives across the board under our turnaround plan."
The AMR report came a day after Continental, the fifth-largest U.S. carrier, surprised Wall Street by posting a profit of $64 million after excluding a special charge, which equaled 83 cents per share. Analysts, who had forecast 27 cents per share profit, said Continental had done better than expected in controlling labor costs and boosting revenue, partly through higher fares.
AMR Corp shares rose 40 cents to close at $12.40 Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares have ranged from $6.34 to $14.95 in the past 52 weeks.
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Southwest Airlines and American Airlines' AMR both turned in profitable quarters and year-end results.