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EARNINGS ROUNDUP / US AIRWAYS

Oil prices lead to $865-million loss

October 24, 2008|TIMES WIRE SERVICES

US Airways Group Inc. said it lost $865 million in the third quarter as the carrier struggled with an up-and-down swing in fuel prices.

The loss was the worst among the major carriers during in the quarter, topping United Airlines parent UAL Corp.'s $779-million loss reported this week.

Oil prices dominated the Tempe, Ariz.-based carrier's balance sheet and swung it to a loss for the fourth straight quarter. Fuel was not only the carrier's biggest expense, but US Airways also took a second hit in fuel hedging as oil prices dropped from their July peak of $147 a barrel.

US Airways said it lost $8.45 a share, compared with a profit of $177 million, or $1.87, in the same period last year. Revenue was up 7.4% to $3.26 billion for the three-month period that ended Sept. 30.

Without special charges of $623 million, including a $488-million loss in fuel hedging, its third-quarter loss would be $242 million, or $2.35 a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters, who usually exclude one-time items, expected a loss of $2.54 a share on revenue of $3.26 billion.

US Airways shares fell $1.85, or 26.2%, to $5.20.

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