US Air Gains 11% on First Day of Trading - TheStreet

US Air Gains 11% on First Day of Trading

The carrier narrows its third-quarter loss.
Publish date:

Updated from 11:58 a.m. EDT

US Airways


continues to improve after emerging from bankruptcy in March, announcing a third-quarter loss that was narrower than last year's quarter on a slight revenue gain.

The company, which isn't officially covered by Wall Street analysts and has no estimates for earnings yet, announced a third-quarter net loss of $90 million, or $1.69 a share, which is better than the loss of $335 million, or $4.92 a share, it had a year ago. Revenue came in at $1.77 billion, up from the year-ago $1.75 billion.

On its first day of trading on the

Nasdaq Stock Market

, US Air closed up 95 cents, or 11.7%, at $9.05.

"While we continue to make significant progress in an industry that is showing some signs of recovery, we simply cannot be satisfied with losing less money than before, when the goal is to be profitable and successful," said David Siegel, president and chief executive.

The once-bankrupt carrier's results may still include hefty losses, but thanks to the power of Chapter 11, it has done much to reduce costs and downsize the scale of its operation. US Air said cost per available seat mile, or CASM, came in at 9.52 cents, which is 6.8% lower than last year's levels, excluding fuel and unusual items.

The company said capacity, measured in available seat miles, fell by 10.2% year over year, while traffic, measured in revenue seat miles, fell just 3.8%. This helped boost US Air's load factor, or the percentage of seats filled on each plane, to 76.9%, up from the year-ago 71.8%.

Ultimately, with demand constrained and planes filling up, US Air has seen improvement to passenger revenue per available seat mile, or PRASM, which came in at 9.41 cents, up 7.4% from last year. The carrier said that by moving away from larger planes to smaller regional jets, the company has been able to show large PRASM increases over domestic routes.

That said, the company warned that demand levels were still below where they were before the World Trade Center attacks, telling investors the industry still faced risks.

"While our revenue improvement is moving in the right direction, comparatively speaking, it is well below Sept. 11 levels, which is the base by which capacity and business travel levels should be measured," said Ben Baldanza, US Air's senior vice president of planning and marketing.