American Airlines Shares Plummeting After Cutting Guidance

January 10, 2019, 2:48 PM UTC

American Airlines shares are tumbling in early trading on Thursday after the company announced lower-than-expected revenue and profit.

In a filing on Thursday, American Airlines said that it now anticipates 2018 earnings per share of $4.40 to $4.60, down from its previous guidance of $4.50 to $5. Analyst consensus had pegged American Airlines’ earnings at $4.62 per share, according to data obtained by Reuters from Refinitiv. American Airlines also said that its unit revenue, which centers on revenue per seat per mile traveled, was up just 1.5% in the fourth quarter, landing at the bottom of its guidance range of 1.5% to 3.5%.

American Airlines said in its filing that it was forced to book $250 million in special items during the period, including fleet restructuring expenses, aircraft rents, and other costs.

The selloff began soon after the announcement, sending American Airlines shares down nearly 10% to $30.28. Investors, growing increasingly wary of a recession and trouble in the travel business, might also have been spooked by Delta’s announcement last week that it, too, was revising its revenue estimates on worse-than-expected performance during the fourth quarter.

Still, American Airlines was quick to note on Thursday that it’s still flush with cash. The company said that it ended 2018 with $7.6 billion liquidity, including unrestricted cash and undrawn revolving credit. It also has $154 million in restricted cash on its books.