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American Airlines swings to a loss, but tops estimates for Q2 forecast

American Airlines CEO Robert Isom on Q1 miss, Boeing's delivery delays and new airline refund rules

American Airlines swung to a loss in the first quarter, but its forecast for the current period surpassed analysts’ estimates.

American expects to earn between $1.15 and $1.45 per share in the second quarter, on an adjusted basis, largely above the $1.18 that analysts compiled by LSEG estimated on average. American reiterated its forecast to earn between $2.25 and $3.25 per share for the full year.

“While we aren’t satisfied with our first-quarter financial results, we have a strong foundation in place, and we remain on track to deliver on our full-year financial targets,” CEO Robert Isom said in an earnings release.

American said it expects second-quarter capacity to be up 7% to 9%, and unit revenues to fall 1% to 3% from last year.

Similar to Southwest, United and Alaska, American is affected by Boeing’s latest quality control and safety crises. American will receive seven fewer aircraft from Boeing than it previously projected, Isom said, adding that he did not expect a material impact from the delays.

“My message is Boeing hasn’t changed since the last time we talked,” Isom told CNBC in an interview. “Get your act together. Deliver.”

Here is how American performed in the first quarter compared with Wall Street estimates compiled by LSEG:

  • Loss per share: 34 cents adjusted vs. an expected loss of 29 cents
  • Revenue: $12.57 billion vs. $12.60 billion expected

American posted a loss of $312 million, or 48 cents per share, in the first quarter, compared with a profit of $10 million, or 2 cents per share, during the same period a year earlier. Adjusting for one-time items, including costs associated with new labor contracts, American lost $226 million, or 34 cents per share.

Operating expenses rose nearly 7%, including an 18% rise in salaries and related costs.

Revenue rose 3.1% to $12.57 billion.

— CNBC’s Phil LeBeau contributed to this report.

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