While it took some one time items to get to the 47,000,000 profit, it is always better to be on this side of the line than the other. Continental beat analysts expectations by a long margin. The analysts expected a loss of 84 cents per share, and the actual loss was 58 cents per share, prior to the sale of some assets.
Continental Posts Profit on 1-Time Gains
Tuesday January 20, 8:58 am ET
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Continental Airlines Inc. (NYSE:CAL - News) on Tuesday reported a fourth-quarter profit, largely on gains from the sale of its stakes in two online reservation companies, and said high fuel prices would make it tough to break even this year.
The No. 5 U.S. airline, the second major airline to report results for the last three months of 2003, said its profit amounted to $47 million, or 67 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $109 million, or $1.67 per share, a year earlier.
Continental's results include an $85 million gain, primarily driven by the sale of its interests in online travel companies Hotwire, which was acquired by InterActiveCorp (NasdaqNM:IACI -News) last year, and Orbitz Inc. (NasdaqNM:ORBZ - News), which went public last month.
Excluding those special items, the Houston-based carrier posted a loss of 58 cents a share for the quarter. On that basis, analysts had expected Continental to post a loss of 84 cents a share, with loss estimates ranging from 47 cents to $1.15, according to Reuters Research, a unit of Reuters Group Plc.
[Edited 2004-01-20 15:56:59]