(By Mani) US Airways Group, Inc. (NYSE: LCC) reported a fourth-quarter profit that more than doubled from last year and adjusted earnings came in ahead of Wall Street expectations as it flew more number of passengers. On the results, shares of Arizona-based US Airways were up 2 percent to $15.20.
The airline reported fourth-quarter profit of $37 million for its fourth quarter 2012, or 22 cents a share, compared to $18 million, or 11 cents a share, for the same period in 2011.
Results were negatively impacted by approximately $35 million due to Hurricane Sandy. In addition, the company recognized about $9 million of net special items in the fourth quarter, which are primarily related to corporate transaction and auction rate securities arbitration costs.
Excluding items, it earned $46 million, or 26 cents a share, up from $21 million, or 13 cents a share, a year-ago. Analysts, on average, polled by Thomson Reuters, had expected earnings of 19 cents a share for the fourth quarter.
Total revenues in the fourth quarter rose 3.9 percent to $3.28 billion on a 1.4 percent increase in total available seat miles (ASMs). Total revenue per ASM was a record 15.58 cents, up 2.5 percent versus the same period last year driven by a two point increase in passenger load factor. Analysts expected revenue of $3.28 billion.
Total operating expenses edged up 3.5 percent to $3.2 billion. Mainline cost per available seat mile (CASM) was 13.55 cents, up 2.8 percent on a 0.7 percent increase in mainline ASMs. Excluding special items, fuel and profit sharing, mainline CASM increased 2.9 percent to 8.73 cents. Express CASM excluding special items and fuel was 14.54 cents, down 2.7 percent on a 4.8 percent increase in ASMs.
For full year 2012, the company reported a record net profit of $637 million, or $3.28 a share for 2012, up from $71 million, or 44 cents a share, last year. Excluding items, it reported a record net profit of $537 million, or $2.79 a share, compared to $111 million, or 68 cents a share, in 2011. Total revenues were up 5.9 percent to $13.8 billion. Wall Street expected earnings of $2.71 a share on revenue of $13.82 billion.
As of Dec. 31, 2012, the company had $2.71 billion in total cash and investments, of which $336 million was restricted, up from $2.31 billion, of which $365 million was restricted on Dec. 31, 2011.