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American posts $597 million profit


American Airlines posted a profit of $597 million for the fourth quarter, a reversal from the $2 billion loss it reported last year when it emerged from bankruptcy.

The Fort Worth-based carrier said revenues grew 2.1 percent to $10.2 billion even though planes were slightly less full in the fourth quarter.

“The results we have achieved thus far, combined with our economic outlook, give us confidence that 2015 will be another outstanding year for American Airlines,” said American chief executive Doug Parker in a statement.

With declining oil prices, American said it paid $2.52 per gallon of jet fuel, a decrease of 17.5 percent. On a conference call with Wall Street analysts, chief financial officer Derek Kerr said those fuel cost savings could translate to $5 billion a year.

For its first full year merged with US Airways, American said its profits were $2.8 billion with $42.6 billion in revenues. American and US Airways closed its merger in December 2013.

Excluding one-time accounting charges, American reported a fourth quarter profit of $1.1 billion, or $1.52 a share, beating Wall Street analysts’ earnings estimates of $1.51 per share, according to FactSet Research.

The company announced it will pay a dividend of 10 cents per share to shareholders of record as of February 9. Its board has also authorized an additional $2 billion for share repurchase plan as American has already completed a $1 billion repurchase program.

American executives are holding a conference call with investors and analysts that started at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning to discuss the results.

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