Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2005 04:49:41 pm

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American and Continental Report Q2 Profits
Posted: July 20th, 2005 12:22 PM EDT

Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Two of the biggest U.S. airlines reported second-quarter profits on Wednesday, benefiting from increased passenger demand and reduced labor expenses that helped offset soaring fuel costs.

AMR Corp., the parent of American Airlines, earned $58 million in the April-June period, while Continental Airlines Inc. posted a $100 million profit. Both carriers' results exceeded analysts' expectations.

AMR's profit was equivalent to 30 cents per share, a significant improvement from last year's net income of 3 cents per share, or $6 million. It beat the 15-cent-per-share estimate of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial and was the company's first net profit that did not include special items since the fourth quarter of 2000.

Second-quarter revenue at the Fort Worth, Texas-based airline rose 10 percent to $5.31 billion, compared with $4.83 billion a year earlier.

Passenger traffic grew by 7.4 percent, ahead of seat capacity which increased by 2.3 percent. It's planes were 79.5 percent full for the quarter, compared with 75.7 percent a year ago.

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