American Airlines trims profit forecast as fuel costs surge

Key Points
  • American Airlines stock drops after the company trims its full-year outlook because of higher fuel prices.
  • American also posts higher revenues but profits declined.
An American Airlines jetliner flies past the moon in an image taken in Arlington, Texas.
Getty Images

American Airlines posted first-quarter earnings above Wall Street estimates, but shares fell after the airline warned higher fuel prices would weigh on its bottom line this year.

American's shares were off 5.7 percent Thursday afternoon.

The airline, the world's largest, said it expected to earn $5 to $6 per share this year, down from its estimate in January of $5.50 to $6.50. The airline said this was due to higher fuel costs.

Those costs rose nearly 24 percent in the first quarter from the first three months of 2017.

CEO Doug Parker told analysts on a call following the earnings release that "one good thing" about the higher fuel prices "is it affects everybody," not just a single airline.

In the first quarter ended March 31, its net income fell 45 percent to $186 million, or 39 cents per share, from $340 million, or 67 cents a share, a year ago.

On an adjusted basis, American earned 75 cents per share, outpacing analyst estimates by 3 cents.

American brought in revenue of $10.40 billion, slightly below forecasts of $10.41 billion, but 5.9 percent higher than a year ago.