America West projects earnings shortfall
...third- and fourth-quarter earnings would slip due to record high fuel prices and weaker revenue...
AZ Travels the World
Oct 5, 04, 5:17 pm
From today's Arizona Republic (http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/business/articles/1005amwest05.html).
AmWest warns of big losses
Fuel expenses blamed for grim outlook
America West Airlines' planes were fuller than ever this summer, but low fares and high fuel prices will mean a significant loss for the third quarter, the airline said Monday.
The outlook is the same for the fourth quarter, which began Friday, the company said.
America West Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Doug Parker has said the second half of the year would be tough for the Tempe-based airline, but this is the harshest language the company has used to describe its expected results. The company did not provide specifics on the expected losses.
Analysts were expecting a loss of 45 cents per share for the quarter, compared with a profit of 60 cents a share a year ago. The projected fourth-quarter loss is 71 cents a share.
They have been slashing estimates for most airlines in the past few weeks as fuel prices remain sky-high and fare competition is stiff, given all the flights airlines have added.
J.P. Morgan analyst Jamie Baker last week changed his third-quarter outlook on America West from a profit of 5 cents a share to a loss of 45 cents a share. He expects only Southwest, JetBlue and Alaska to make money in the July-September period.
America West's announcement, tucked into its monthly traffic report, was made after the stock market closed. The airline's stock, already down 55 percent this year, could take a hit today if analysts further cut their expectations based on the company's announcement.
The losses will be the airline's first in more than a year. America West has posted five consecutive quarterly profits, though second-quarter results were down sharply from a year earlier. The third-quarter results are due out Oct. 20.
The biggest culprit is fuel. Baker calculated that America West would post a third-quarter profit of 41 cents per share, instead of a loss, if fuel were at last year's prices.