American Airlines' AMR posts $1.1 billion 4Q loss

February 15, 2012 - 7:05 PM

DALLAS (AP) — AMR Corp., the parent of American Airlines, said Wednesday that it lost $1.1 billion in the fourth quarter as it wrote down the value of planes and other property and paid more for jet fuel.

The company, which filed for bankruptcy protection in November, said that the results compared with a loss of $97 million a year earlier, when AMR still hoped to avoid bankruptcy by cutting costs.

The most recent loss included $768 million in special items, including $725 million from write-downs of aircraft that the company had announced two weeks ago. It also took a $43 million hit as it changed assumptions on recognition of revenue in its frequent-flier program.

Excluding special items, AMR said it would have lost $209 million, compared to an after-items loss of $69 million a year ago.

American is the nation's third-biggest airline, and it has presented a business-as-usual face since becoming the latest in a long string of U.S. airlines to file for bankruptcy protection. Even though it is still losing money, the airline is benefiting from higher ticket prices and decent demand for travel.

AMR said fourth-quarter revenue rose 7.4 percent to $6 billion. Analysts expected $5.89 billion, according to FactSet.

The amount of revenue for every mile flown by one seat, a closely watched measure in the airline industry, rose 8.9 percent, a reflection of the higher fares.

But costs have also mounted, especially for fuel, which accounts for about one-third of an airline's budget.

AMR paid about $3.01 per gallon for jet fuel, up from $2.42 per gallon a year earlier, for an increase of 24.5 percent. The company said it spent $394 million more on fuel than it would have at last year's prices.

For the full year, the company posted a net loss of $2 billion, compared with a loss of $471 million in 2010. Revenue rose to $23.98 billion from $22.17 billion.

AMR, American and affiliate American Eagle filed for bankruptcy protection Nov. 29. Company management proposes to slash annual costs by $2 billion through steps including eliminating 13,000 jobs and terminating pension plans for 130,000 current and former workers. It says it can boost revenue by $1 billion per year with additional flights in key markets and better services.

The company's shares no longer trade on the New York Stock Exchange, and it decided to drop the conference call with analysts that typically goes with a quarterly earnings report.