reported a slight fourth-quarter profit, even though the global recession led to declines in high-yield business traffic.
Excluding items, the carrier reported net income of $4 million, or 3 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had estimated a loss of 7 cents a share. Revenue fell 8.3% to $3.2 billion, in line with estimates.
Net income was $85 million, or 60 cents a share. One-time items included $77 million of previously announced special charges and a $158 million non-cash income tax benefit.
"While we are seeing some business traffic increasing, we likely have a long and slow road to recovery," said CEO Jeff Smisek, in a prepared statement.
During the quarter, consolidated passenger revenue per available seat mile dropped 9%.Consolidated capacity declined by 0.6%. Consolidated load factor was 82%, a fourth-quarter record. Consolidated yield fell by 12.6%. Mainline RASM fell 9.9%. RASM fell in every region, led by a 14.9% decline in the Pacific.
Following its entry into the Star Alliance, Continental began nonstop Houston-Frankfurt service in November and said it will begin Newark-Munich service in March.
-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.