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American earns record $932 million first quarter profit

American Airlines posted solid first quarter earnings as the carrier benefited from lower fuel prices. (Star-Telegram/Rodger Mallison)
American Airlines posted solid first quarter earnings as the carrier benefited from lower fuel prices. (Star-Telegram/Rodger Mallison) Star-Telegram

American Airlines reported a first quarter profit of $932 million, beating its record of $480 million earned in the first quarter of 2014.

“We are pleased to report record first quarter profits, exceeding the prior record set just last year,”said American chief executive Doug Parker in a statement. “We are particularly pleased with the integration achievements our team has realizzed and look forward to building on those successes through 2015 and beyond.”

However, the Fort Worth-based carrier’s revenues dropped 1.7 percent to $9.82 billion for the quarter due to competitive capacity growth and economic softness in Latin America. American has had to compete with Southwest Airlines adding dozens of new routes out of Dallas Love Field since the expiration of the Wright Amendment restrictions last fall.

The carrier cut capacity by 1.7 percent and its load factor declined 0.3 percentage points to 80.3 percent. Unit revenues also declined 2 percent in the quarter.

American’s profits were boosted by low fuel prices as the airline said it paid an average of $1.86 per gallon for jet fuel, down 40 percent from the $3.10 per gallon price it paid in the first quarter last year.

Excluding one-time accounting items, American said its net profit was $1.2 billion, or $1.73 per share, beating Wall Street analysts’ estimates of $1.71 per share.

Company executives will discuss the earnings results on a conference call with Wall Street analysts and investors at 7:30 a.m. CDT.

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