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American Airlines is making money again and beating expectations after its merger with US Airways.
The company posted earnings of $480 million Thursday, a record for the first quarter, which is usually the weakest three-month period for airlines during the year. As separate airlines, American and US Airways lost $297 million a year earlier.
The profit works out to 65 cents per share, easily topping analyst projections for 48 cents per share.
Revenue rose 5.6 percent to $10 billion, just below analyst forecasts of $10.02 billion.
American Airlines Group Inc., formed by the December merger, is the largest airline in the world.
Shares of the Fort Worth, Texas, carrier are higher in premarket trading.
Further details from American’s release:
- First quarter 2014 net profit was a record $480 million. This represents a $777 million improvement versus the company’s combined first quarter 2013 net loss of $297 million.
- Excluding net special credits, the company reported a record first quarter net profit of $402 million. This represents a $340 million year-over-year improvement versus the company’s combined net profit of $62 million excluding net special charges in the first quarter 2013.
- First quarter 2014 pretax margin excluding net special credits was 4.1 percent, a 3.6 point year-over-year improvement.
- The company ended the quarter with $10.6 billion in total cash and short-term investments. Since the close of the merger, the company has used more than $542 million of cash to reduce its diluted shares outstanding by approximately 20 million.