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American Airlines beats earnings expectations

  • Last month, Qatar Airways expressed intent to acquire about a 10 percent stake in American Airlines.
  • The U.S. Transportation Department fined American, Delta Air Lines and Frontier last week for violating consumer protection rules.
  • The airline industry has come under scrutiny this year after a passenger was dragged off a United Airlines flight.
A new American Airlines 737-800 aircraft.
Getty Images
A new American Airlines 737-800 aircraft.

American Airlines reported quarterly earnings that beat expectations.

Here's how the company did compared with what Wall Street expected:

  • EPS: $1.92 vs. $1.87, according to Thomson Reuters
  • Revenue: $11.11 billion vs. $11.08 billion, according to Thomson Reuters

Earnings per share in the second quarter rose to $1.92 from $1.77 a year earlier. Revenue increased to $11.11 billion from $10.36 billion.

American attributed an 11 percent increase in operating expenses from the year-ago quarter to a rise in fuel costs and employee benefit costs.

Shares of American rose 2 percent in premarket trading after the announcement.

"Our strong revenue growth is a credit to our more than 120,000 team members and evidence that these investments are working," said Doug Parker, American's chairman and CEO. "Looking forward, we are enthusiastic about our prospects for the second half of 2017, as well as 2018 and beyond."

American plans to invest $4.1 billion in new planes this year. In the second quarter, the carrier invested $1.1 billion in 20 new planes that will replace older aircraft.

The airline has expanded its no-frills basic economy option into 78 markets. It said early results have been in line with expectations, and that it plans to expand the offering across the rest of its domestic network by the end of September.

Customers have strongly adopted the new premium economy option, the airline said. It is now installing the seats on Boeing 777-200 planes and plans to retrofit most of its other wide-body planes by the end of 2018.

Last month, Qatar Airways expressed intent to acquire about a 10 percent stake in American Airlines. A deal of that size requires approval from the board of directors. Parker told CNBC last month the proposal "makes no sense."

Earlier this month, American announced it was canceling code-share agreements with Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways. Those deals allow airlines to book passengers on each other's flights. The move has not derailed Qatar Airways' plan to buy a stake in American.

The U.S. Transportation Department fined American, Delta Air Lines and Frontier last week for violating consumer protection rules. The department said it fined American $250,000 for failing to make timely refunds to passengers.

The airline industry has come under scrutiny this year after a passenger was dragged off a United Airlines flight. United has since reached a settlement with the person. Customer complaints soared in April, the same month of the incident.

— Reuters contributed to this report.