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AMR Shares Fall as Guidance Suggests Loss

Shares of American Airlines parent AMR fell after the carrier issued guidance that analysts said implied a loss for the fourth quarter.

In a filing late Friday, AMR said operating costs would be higher than previously expected. It also forecast revenue growth that was lower than some analysts anticipated.

"Fresh guidance implies a modest fourth-quarter loss versus our recently diminished break-even estimate," J.P. Morgan analyst Jamie Baker said in a note. He forecast a loss of 40 cents a share.

Benchmark Co. analyst Helane Becker said that AMR's guidance indicated break-even or a small loss in the fourth quarter.

Wall Street analysts, on average, expected AMR to earn 55 cents a share in the fourth quarter, according to a survey by Reuters Estimates.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, AMR said it expected American Airlines' operating costs, excluding fuel expenses, to rise in the fourth quarter to 7.8 cents per available seat mile, above its previous guidance.

The No. 1 U.S. airline, which expects to fly 42.15 billion available seat miles in the fourth quarter, said the increased unit costs stemmed from higher maintenance expenses and weather-related cancellations in late November and early December.

AMR also said it expected passenger unit revenue, including regional affiliates, to rise 3.6%to 4.6%. J.P. Morgan's Baker said this was below his estimate of 5.6 %.