Frontier Airlines ( FRNT) said Friday that it lost money in the latest quarter, even though it performed well until two December snowstorms struck its Denver hub.

The carrier lost $14.4 million, or 39 cents a share, in the fiscal third quarter ending Dec. 31. That compares with a net loss of $10.3 million, or 28 cents a share, during the year-ago period. Revenue was $266.4 million, up 7.9% from the year-ago period. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial had expected a loss of 27 cents a share.

"Our financial results were disappointing, especially after one of the better months of November in the recent history of the company," CEO Jeff Potter said on a conference call Friday.

The storms had a net after-tax impact of $11.9 million, or 27 cents a share. They caused 875 flights to be canceled, reducing mainline revenue by $12.2 million and regional revenue by $1 million. Additional storm-related costs of $2.1 million for increased de-icing and wages were offset by a $3.3 million reduction in fuel and other expenses.

Frontier also saw a 3% year-over-year decline in average fares due to intense competition at Denver. Potter said the carrier will push more traffic through the airport by increasing its mainline and regional schedules and through a marketing partnership with AirTran ( AAI).

Potter said Frontier benefits from diversification outside Denver, particularly increased service from various cities to Mexico. But the performance of recently added Los Angeles-San Francisco service is "slow," he said.

During the quarter, mainline revenue per available seat mile grew by 0.1%. On the cost side, mainline cost per available seat mile, excluding fuel, increased 6.5% to 6.57 cents, largely as a result of the storms.

CFO Paul Tate declined to provide RASM guidance, saying weather forced a large number of passengers to cancel December trips that would have ended in January. "That's January revenue we lost," he said. "We want a little more time to look at it before we provide guidance."

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