Continental Airlines ( CAL) shares fell 3.6% after the carrier said revenue trends were weak for February, but analysts said the disappointing results didn't represent an industrywide trend.

Continental said February traffic, as measured in revenue passenger miles, rose 13.9% year-over-year, while capacity, as measured in available seat miles, increased 11.7% year-over-year. With revenue rising faster than supply, the carrier filled 70.2% of the seats on its planes, up from 68.9% a year ago.

But while passengers are filling Continental flights, they're paying less to do so, partly because of deep discounts to drive demand during a seasonally weak February. The company said that revenue per available seat mile, a key industry metric called RASM, fell between 2.5% and 3.5% during February, snapping a nine-month streak of RASM growth.

"February year-over-year RASM decline was partly attributable to Continental's strong performance relative to the industry during February last year, and the poor performance this year of the very competitive transcontinental markets, where RASM declined an estimated 25% to 30% as compared to February of last year," the company said in a statement.

In reaction to the weak RASM trends at Continental, Wall Street analysts made a number of negative comments about the carrier, saying the RASM drop was more than expected. Shares of Continental fell 56 cents to $14.91.

"We had estimated that Continental's February unit revenue would be, at best, flat versus a year ago so the results are a modest disappointment," said Michael Linenberg, airline analyst at Merrill Lynch. "However, it is our impression that some of the Street estimates may have been as high as a 3% gain."

But as with January, when Continental's slight RASM growth lagged peers, analysts said the carrier's results do not represent the entire industry, just increased competition on lucrative transcontinental routes the carrier serves. Bear Stearns expects other carriers to show RASM growth in February, but Continental is the only company to announce monthly RASM trends.

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