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American Airlines parent AMR Corp. reports fourth-quarter loss

January 19, 2011 | 11:38 am

LAX photo Sometimes when you lose, you actually win.

That is the way the parent company of American Airlines is portraying its loss of $69 million, or 29 cents a share, for the last three months of 2010.

AMR Corp. noted that it lost much more -- $344 million -- in the same period in 2009.

Overall, the Fort Worth-based airline company lost $471 million, or $1.41 a share, in 2010, compared with a loss of $1.5 billion, or $4.99, in 2009.

"We are optimistic about the trajectory we are on," AMR Chief Executive Gerard Arpey said during a conference call with financial analysts Wednesday.

Analysts have predicted that every major network airline company except AMR will report profits for the fourth quarter.

Delta Air Lines on Tuesday reported a $19-million profit for the quarter, compared with a loss of $25 million in the fourth quarter of 2009.

American Airlines said its revenue rose 10% in the fourth quarter compared with the same period in 2009 to $5.6 billion. But the airline ended up in the red partly because it spent $850 million more for fuel in 2010 over the previous year and contributed about $600 million to its employee pension plan.

-- Hugo Martin

Photo: An American Airline jet lands at Los Angeles International Airport. Credit: Los Angeles Times