US Airways Group Inc. Earnings: Comes in Above Analysts’ Expectations

US Airways Group Inc. (NYSE:LCC) posted lower net income in the fourth quarter compared with a year-earlier period. US Airways Group is a holding company that operates a major network air carrier through its wholly owned subsidiaries US Airways, Piedmont, PSA, MSC, and Airways Assurance Limited.

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US Airways Group Earnings Cheat Sheet for the Fourth Quarter

Results: Net income for US Airways Group Inc. fell to $18 million (11 cents per share) vs. $28 million (17 cents per share) a year earlier. This is a decline of 35.7% from the year earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 8.5% to $3.15 billion from the year earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: LCC reported adjusted net income of 13 cents per share. By that measure, the company beat the mean estimate of one cent per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $3.14 billion.

Quoting Management: US Airways Group, Inc. Chairman and CEO Doug Parker stated, “We are very pleased to report a profit for both the fourth quarter and full year of 2011, particularly given the extraordinarily high cost of jet fuel. Strong demand for our product and outstanding operations performance by the US Airways team resulted in numerous records set by our airline. Passenger revenue, total revenue, and passenger revenue per available seat mile all set new Company records for both the fourth quarter and the full year. We also had our best fourth quarter ever in terms of operating reliability, including our best on-time performance, highest completion factor and lowest mishandled baggage ratio.”

Key Stats:

Revenue has risen the past four quarters. Revenue increased 8.1% to $3.44 billion in the third quarter. The figure rose 10.5% in the second quarter from the year earlier and climbed 11.7% in the first quarter from the year-ago quarter.

The company has now beaten estimates the last two quarters. In the third quarter, it topped expectations with net income of 50 cents versus a mean estimate of net income of 47 cents per share.

Looking Forward: For the next quarter, analysts are increasingly pessimistic about the company’s performance. The average estimates for the first quarter of the next fiscal year is at a loss of 62 cents per share, down from 25 cents ninety days ago. The average estimate for the fiscal year is 59 cents per share, a rise from 21 cents ninety days ago.

Competitors to Watch: Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL), AMR Corporation (NYSE:AMR), Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV), JetBlue Airways Corp. (NASDAQ:JBLU), Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE:ALK), United Continental Hldgs., Inc. (NYSE:UAL), Republic Airways Hldgs. Inc. (NASDAQ:RJET), AirTran Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AAI), Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:HA), and Pinnacle Airlines Corp. (NASDAQ:PNCL).

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(Company fundamentals provided by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com