American Airlines ekes out a first-quarter profit as carrier ramps up flying

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An American Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner approaches for a landing at the Miami International Airport on Dec. 10, 2021.
Joe Raedle | Getty Images

American Airlines posted a $10 million profit in the first quarter as it ramped up flying and a jump in revenue outpaced higher costs.

American’s revenue rose 37% in the first three months of the year to $12.19 billion, roughly in line with analyst estimates.

Here’s how American Airlines performed in the first quarter compared with what Wall Street anticipated, based on an average of analysts’ estimates compiled by Refinitiv:

  • Adjusted earnings per share: 5 cents vs. expected 5 cents
  • Total revenue: $12.19 billion vs. expected $12.20 billion

Revenue of $12.19 billion was 37% higher than the same period a year earlier. The carrier’s net income for the quarter of $10 million, or 2 cents per share, marks a drastic improvement from the first quarter of 2022 when American lost $1.64 billion, or $2.52 per share.

Excluding charges associated with debt refinancing, American earned an adjusted 5 cents per share during the first quarter, in line with analysts’ expectations.

For the second quarter of the year, American forecast adjusted per-share earnings of $1.20 to $1.40, at the high end of analysts’ expectations.

The Fort Worth-based carrier expects revenue per available seat mile to come in 2% to 4% lower than last year on capacity up as much as 5.5%.

American CEO Robert Isom said late aircraft deliveries from manufacturers are hindering the carrier’s growth.

“In terms of the aircraft manufacturers, both Boeing and Airbus, they have to do a better job,” Isom said in an interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Thursday. “When we don’t receive a delivery on time, guess what? We’re going out and having to cancel flights. That affects thousands of customers.”

“We’ve got to hold them accountable,” Isom said.

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