American Airlines Posts Adjusted First- Quarter Profit

DALLAS ( TheStreet) -- American Airlines ( AAMRQ.PK) reported a first-quarter profit, excluding items, for the first time in six years.

The carrier, which is operating under bankruptcy court protection, reported net profit of $8 million excluding $349 million in reorganization costs and special items. In the same period a year earlier, the carrier lost $248 million. Including items, American reported a net loss of $341 million, compared with a loss of $1.7 billion. Revenue rose 1% to $6.1 billion, on 1.3% less capacity.

During the quarter, consolidated passenger revenue per available seat mile grew 2.6%. Domestic PRASM rose 2.7%, with particular strength in Los Angeles and Chicago. International PRASM grew 2.6%, driven by strong performance in the Atlantic. In Latin America, PRASM was "robust" and the company said "targeted growth in the region will be accretive to earnings."

"For the first time in six years, we produced a first-quarter profit, excluding reorganization items and special charges, and our fourth consecutive quarterly operating profit," said CEO Tom Horton, in a prepared statement.

"The momentum is building," said Horton, who noted, "Our pending merger with our partners at US Airways ( LCC) positions American to be the world's leading airline."

American was the first airline to report first-quarter results. Delta ( DAL) and US Airways are also expected to report first-quarter profits.

American said it has completed the majority of its financial restructuring, including reducing debt, renegotiating aircraft leases and facilities agreements, grounding older aircraft, rationalizing the regional fleet, renegotiating supplier relationships. It has also negotiated new labor contracts and reduced depreciation and amortization expenses, which have been offset by the costs related to taking delivery of 36 new leased aircraft during the past 12 months. It will take delivery of 59 aircraft during 2013.

On the cost side, consolidated cost per available seat mile decreased 3.2% excluding fuel and special items.

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

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