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US Airways beats the street

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broke, and getting worse.
Feb 26, 2004
* US Airways net profit 42 cents/shr
* JetBlue net profit 7 cents/shr
* Alaska Air Group net profit 79 cents/shr
* Shares move higher
By Kyle Peterson
CHICAGO, July 23 (Reuters) - US Airways Group (LCC.N) and JetBlue Airways (JBLU.O) reported quarterly net profits that reversed year-ago losses, but economic pressures are curbing travel demand and airline executives said it was unclear when they will abate.
The results complete the second-quarter earnings reports for the biggest U.S. airlines. While they reveal a mostly unprofitable industry trying to ride out a deep recession, some positive signs for the industry have begun to emerge.
"Looking forward to the second half of 2009, the revenue environment continues to be difficult to forecast," US Airways Chief Executive Doug Parker said in a statement.
"We have seen an encouraging, though modest, improvement in revenues over the past several weeks," he said. "But we are not counting on a quick recovery."
Industry watchers now turn their attention to the remainder of 2009, when some airlines are planning new capacity cuts.
"The cash burn is still going to be of concern," said Morningstar analyst Basili Alukos. "And the capacity cuts. Will they continue to cut back? Will there be consolidation? Will someone go under?"
US Airways said its second-quarter net profit amounted to $58 million, or 42 cents per share, compared with a loss of $568 million, or $6.17 per share, a year ago. The profit was driven by lower fuel costs.
Excluding one-time items, the company lost 77 cents per share, which compares with a Wall Street consensus forecast for a loss of 84 cents per share, according to Reuters Estimates.
Shares of US Airways were up 14 cents to $2.19 in late morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
US Airways said its bill for fuel and related taxes declined 59.4 percent to $440, but the company reported a realized fuel hedging loss of $135 million. Continued...
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The carrier said its revenue fell 18.4 percent to $2.66 billion. The company ended the quarter with $2.3 billion in cash and investments.
JetBlue said its net profit for the quarter was $20 million, or 7 cents per share, compared with a loss of $9 million, or 4 cents per share, a year ago.
Excluding an accounting gain from the valuation of some of its auction rate securities, profit would have been 5 cents per share, which compares with a Wall Street consensus forecast for a 1-cent-per-share profit, according to Reuters Estimates.
The carrier's fuel costs were down about $140 million, or 38.6 percent, from a year ago. JetBlue's revenue slipped 6 percent to $807 million. The company ended the quarter with $880 million in cash and equivalents.
The airline said its unit revenue was likely to fall in the second half of 2009, but so were unit costs.
"Despite a challenging revenue outlook, we continue to expect to generate a profit every quarter this year," CEO Dave Barger told analysts on a conference call.
JetBlue shares were 1.1 percent higher to $4.83 on Nasdaq.
"In a somewhat encouraging sign, JetBlue demand expectations appear largely unchanged," JP Morgan airline analyst Jamie Baker said in a research note.
Also on Thursday, Alaska Air Group (ALK.N) reported second-quarter net income of $29.1 million, or 79 cents per share, compared to a profit of $63.1 million, or $1.74 cents per share, in the year-ago period.
The parent of Alaska Airlines and regional carrier Horizon Air said that excluding special items its income was $26.5 million, or 72 cents per share.
Analysts polled by Reuters Estimates expected a per-share profit, excluding items, of 51 cents. Alaska Air Group shares were up $1.43, or 6.9 percent, to $22.17 on the NYSE. (Reporting by Kyle Peterson and John Crawley; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)
Now you need to hope that (God), pardon me, the shareholders are happy with the results of their (spoils), pardon me again, their profits. We shall submit this offering to the gods and hope its not off with our heads.

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