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American Airlines (AAL) Q4 2023 earnings

Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, from American Airlines company, taking off from Barcelona airport, in Barcelona on 24th February 2023. 

JanValls | Nurphoto | Getty Images

American Airlines on Thursday posted a $19 million profit for the last three months of 2023, topping Wall Street estimates on the top and bottom lines.

Shares of the company rose about 4% in premarket trading.

Here’s how American performed in the last quarter of 2023 compared to Wall Street estimates compiled by LSEG, formerly known as Refinitiv:

  • Earnings per share: 29 cents adjusted vs. 10 cents per share expected.
  • Revenue: $13.06 billion vs. $13.02 billion expected.

For the last three months of 2023, American Airlines reported net income of $19 million, down nearly 98% from $803 million the year prior. Earnings per share decreased to 3 cents from $1.14 in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Adjusting for one-time items, including the impact of a new labor agreement with the airline’s pilots, American earned 29 cents per share.

In its third-quarter earnings report, the airline had estimated it would break even for the December period.

Looking ahead, American said it expects a net loss per share of between 15 cents and 35 cents, adjusted, for the first quarter of 2024. Costs, excluding fuel are expected to rise between 2% and 4% for the period, with flying capacity up between 6.5% and 8.5%.

For the full year 2024, American expects adjusted earnings per share of $2.25 to $3.25 with flying capacity up mid-single digits over 2023.

“The American Airlines team produced an exceptionally strong performance in 2023,” CEO Robert Isom said in a statement Thursday. “We are delivering on our commitments and remain well-positioned for the future, supported by the strength of our network and travel rewards program, our young and simplified fleet, our operational reliability, and our outstanding team.”

In a letter to American team members, Isom said the strength of the business meant all U.S. and Canada-based employees will receive a profit-sharing payment in March.

The earnings report comes on a a busy day for the airline industry, with Southwest and Alaska also reporting fourth-quarter earnings Thursday. United Airlines on Monday posted higher-than-expected earnings and revenue and a sunny forecast for 2024.

Carriers have been navigating tricky winter weather in the early weeks of January, but American said it achieved its best-ever on-time departures over the December holidays.

Industry eyes have been on the Boeing 737 Max 9 plane of late after that aircraft model was grounded by the Federal Aviation Administration earlier this month following an Alaska Airlines midflight incident.

American doesn’t have any of the planes in its fleet.

This is breaking news. Check back for updates.

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