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American Airlines swings to a loss, but tops estimates for Q2 forecast

A Boeing 737 passenger aircraft of American Airlines arrives from Austin at JFK International Airport in New York as the Manhattan skyline looms in the background on February 7, 2024.

Charly Triballeau | Afp | Getty Images

American Airlines swung to a loss in the first quarter, but its forecast for the current period surpassed analysts’ estimates, sending shares roughly 5% higher Thursday.

American expects to earn between $1.15 and $1.45 per share in the second quarter, on an adjusted basis, largely above the $1.18 that analysts compiled by LSEG estimated on average. American reiterated its forecast to earn between $2.25 and $3.25 per share for the full year.

“While we aren’t satisfied with our first-quarter financial results, we have a strong foundation in place, and we remain on track to deliver on our full-year financial targets,” CEO Robert Isom said in an earnings release.

American said it expects second-quarter capacity to be up 7% to 9% and unit revenues to fall 1% to 3% from last year.

Like Southwest, United and Alaska, American is impacted by Boeing’s latest quality control and safety crises. American will receive seven fewer aircraft from Boeing than it previously projected, Isom said, adding that he didn’t expect a material impact from the delays.

“My message is Boeing hasn’t changed since the last time we talked,” Isom told CNBC in an interview. “Get your act together. Deliver.”

Here’s how American performed in the first quarter compared with Wall Street estimates compiled by LSEG:

  • Loss per share: 34 cents adjusted vs. loss of 29 cents expected
  • Revenue: $12.57 billion vs. $12.60 billion expected

American posted a loss of $312 million, or 48 cents per share, in the first quarter, compared with a profit of $10 million, or 2 cents per share, the same period a year earlier. Adjusting for one-time items, including costs associated with new labor contracts, American lost $226 million, or 34 cents per share.

Operating expenses rose nearly 7%, including an 18% rise in salaries and related costs.

Revenue rose 3.1% to $12.57 billion.

— CNBC’s Phil LeBeau contributed to this report.

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