TribLIVE

| Business


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

US Airways 4Q profit doubles

By The Associated Press
Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, 6:52 p.m.
 

US Airways' net income doubled in the fourth quarter and executives said the strong demand the airline is seeing is often a precursor to higher fares.

Fuller planes made the difference in the last three months as revenue set a record.

Airlines successfully raised fares five times last year but have struggled to do so lately. Two attempts led by United this month failed after other airlines didn't match the increases. For US Airways, one measure of fares, called yield, declined very slightly in the fourth quarter.

The good fortune for travelers may not last.

US Airways President Scott Kirby said that full planes and improved demand historically lead to fare increases. There were fewer empty seats in the final quarter of 2012 — occupancy rose 2 percentage points to 83.9 percent. January bookings are up 8 percent from a year ago, Kirby said.

“While it's taking some time, I expect that this strong environment will lead to improving yields across the industry,” Kirby said on a conference call with analysts.

Even without higher fares, having more passengers boosted profits. Revenue for each seat flown one mile — a key performance indicator for airlines — rose 2.2 percent. US Airways' net income for the quarter was $37 million, or 22 cents per share, compared with $18 million, or 11 cents per share a year ago. Excluding special items, net income was 26 cents per share, 7 cents higher than analyst forecasts, according to FactSet.

Revenue rose 3.9 percent to $3.28 billon, a record for the quarter. For the full year, net income jumped to $637 million, or $3.28 per share — the largest profit in the airline's history, the company said.

CEO Doug Parker said US Airways shares rose 166 percent last year, more than any other Fortune 500 company.

US Airways is in merger talks with American Airlines. But it wouldn't discuss the topic on Wednesday, citing a non-disclosure agreement.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Business Headlines

  1. Pittsburgh Brewing tries to reconnect with region, return to glory days
  2. Hiring in shale industry shifts to engineering, construction workers
  3. U.S. Steel’s 2Q loss beats analysts’ estimates
  4. EPA hearings to bring coal debate to Pittsburgh streets
  5. Consol Energy posts $25 million loss despite gas gains
  6. Hotels, restaurants lead job additions in Pittsburgh region
  7. Construction of $500M power plant in South Huntingdon stalled
  8. Central Blood Bank parent in merger talks with Florida system
  9. FAA proposes $12M safety fine against Southwest
  10. Stocks end with little change as investors await Fed moves, jobs report
  11. Plug-in Accord makes gas station visits rare
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.