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Alaska

(ALK) - Get Report

became the only major airline to miss fourth-quarter estimates, despite record full-year results.

Excluding items, the carrier reported fourth quarter net income of $37.2 million, or $1.02 a share. Analysts had estimated $1.14 a share. Revenue rose 9% to $1 billion.

In the same quarter a year earlier, excluding items, Alaska earned $47.4 million, or $1.28 a share.

Including items, principally mark-to-market fuel hedge gains, net income was $64 million, or $1.76 a share, compared with $64.8 million, or $1.75 a share a year earlier.

During the quarter, passenger revenue per available seat mile rose by 5.5%. On the cost side, cost per available seat mile excluding fuel rose 1.8% to 7.89 cents.

For the full year, excluding special items, net income was $287.4 million, or $7.83 a share. Including items, full-year net income was $244.5 million, or $6.66 a share.

"We are pleased to report record adjusted earnings for the second year in a row," said CEO Bill Ayer, in a prepared statement. "The improvement was due to schedule optimization and network expansion, high load factors, lower non-fuel unit costs, and industry-leading customer service and operational performance."

During 2011, Alaska shares gained 30%, the only full-year gain in an industry where most competitors' share prices showed double digit losses.

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

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