Continental posts surprising 4Q profit
DALLAS - January 21, 2010 -- Continental Airlines Inc. made a surprising profit in the fourth quarter thanks to higher traffic and a lower fuel bill.
Continental said Thursday that it earned $85 million in the quarter.
Without some special items, including an income tax gain, the company would have earned $4 million, or 3 cents per share. Analysts expected a loss of 7 cents per share.
Spending on fuel plunged by about one-third, compared with a year ago.
Houston-based Continental boosted passenger traffic by 3.5 percent in the quarter. But revenue fell because of a decline in high-paying customers, who were sidelined by the recession.
In recent weeks, Continental joined other airlines in raising fees on checked baggage to make up for some of the decline in ticket revenue.
continental airlines, business/finance
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