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January 28, 2014

American posts $2 billion fourth quarter loss as it racks up reorganization charges

American US airways tails

Coming out of bankruptcy and merging with another carrier were the high points of American’s fourth quarter as the carrier posted a $2 billion loss due to reorganization charges and bankruptcy claims.

Revenues at the company grew 24 percent to $7.4 billion in the fourth quarter; its results include 23 days of US Airways operations as the two airlines merged on December 9 during the quarter. Although the results are for the combined company, they are compared with the fourth quarter 2012 financial results of American before the merger occurred.

“Our teams are working well together and our customers are already beginning to see the benefits of our combined network,” American chief executive Doug Parker said in a statement. “We have much work ahead, but believe we are on our way to restoring American as the greatest airline in the world.”

American’s quarterly results included $2.4 billion in special charges, the bulk of which was in reorganization charges as part of the bankruptcy claim process, $2.2 billion.

Not including the one-time accounting items, the airline said it posted a profit of $436 million in the quarter, or 59 cents per share. Wall Street analysts who do not include these accounting charges had estimated American would earn 55 cents per share.

For the full year, the company reported a loss of $1.8 billion that included $3.1 billion in accounting charges. That is an improvement from 2012 when American, while in bankruptcy, posted a loss of $1.9 billion which included $1.7 billion in charges.

The airline ended the year with $10.3 billion in total cash and investments including $1 billion which was restricted.

American executives will have a conference call with investors and Wall Street analysts at 9:30 a.m. CDT to discuss the financial results.

-Andrea Ahles

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