Fuel bill dents US Airways 3Q profit

AP News
Posted: Oct 27, 2011 9:33 AM
Fuel bill dents US Airways 3Q profit

US Airways said higher fuel prices pushed down its third-quarter profit, but passenger demand is strong.

US Airways and other airlines have been raising fares, which have covered at least some of the higher fuel costs. US Airways revenue rose 8 percent to $3.44 billion, a little more than analysts expected.

The airline earned $76 million, or 41 cents per share, for the quarter that ended Sept. 30. A year ago it earned $240 million, or $1.22 per share. It said it would have earned 51 cents per share if not for special items. That was 3 cents per share more than expected by analysts surveyed by FactSet.

Its fuel bill rose by $356 million even though it burned a half-percent less fuel.

US Airways, the nation's fifth-biggest airline, cut flying by 1.2 percent during the quarter. Even with fewer seats available, traffic grew by 1 percent.

"We see continued strong demand in the fourth quarter," said Chairman and CEO Doug Parker in a written statement. "Thanks to continued capacity discipline, aggressive cost control and focus on outstanding operating reliability, we believe US Airways is well positioned for 2012."

The airline ended the quarter with $2.04 billion in cash, more than it has had at this time of year since 2007.

Shares of Tempe, Ariz.-based US Airways Group Inc. rose 29 cents, or 5.1 percent, to $5.95 in morning trading.