American Airlines Group Inc. (NASDAQ: AAL) reported its first-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Friday. The company said it had $1.25 in earnings per share (EPS) on $9.4 billion in revenue, compared to consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters of $1.19 in EPS on revenue of $9.44 billion. In the same period of last year, the company posted EPS of $1.73 and $9.83 billion in revenue.
First quarter revenue was negatively affected by competitive capacity growth, continued macroeconomic softness in Latin America and foreign currency weakness.
Consolidated passenger revenue per available seat mile was 12.43 cents, down 7.5% from last year. At the same time, consolidated passenger yield was 15.62 cents, down 7.1%.
During the first quarter, the company returned more than $1.6 billion to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends. The board of directors authorized a new $2.0 billion share repurchase program that will expire at the end of 2017. Also the board declared a dividend of $0.10 per share to be paid on May 18 to stockholders of record as of May 4.
Doug Parker, chairman and CEO of American Airlines, commented on earnings:
“We are pleased to report a first quarter pre-tax profit of $1.2 billion, excluding special items, and a 15 percent improvement in adjusted earnings per share. These results include a $73 million accrual related to the system-wide profit sharing plan we announced earlier this quarter. The people of American are doing an outstanding job of taking care of our customers and are the key to our future success.”
On the books, cash and short-term investments totaled $6.93 billion at the end of the quarter, compared to $6.25 billion.
Shares of American Airlines closed Thursday down 3% at $40.01, with a consensus analyst price target of $49.10 and a 52-week trading range of $34.10 to $53.47. Following the release of the earnings report, the stock was up 0.5% at $40.20 in early trading indications Friday.