Northwest Airlines announced Monday it swung to a third-quarter profit and beat analysts' estimates, sending shares higher. The company earned $244 million ($0.93/share) after posting a $1.18 billion loss ($-13.50/share) last year when it was in the final stages of emerging from bankruptcy. Revenue dropped 0.9% to $3.38 billion. Forecasters estimated the company would make $0.73/share on $3.36 billion of revenue. CEO Doug Steenland said the quarter reflected the company's "remarkable turnaround" and was consistent with the airline's five year plan. Each seat mile cost the company $0.1076 in the last quarter, which was lower than all larger airlines except Delta. Operating expenses dropped 4% on lower spending for salaries and strategic fuel hedging. Shares of the company traded 1.7% higher to $17.64 Monday.
Commentary: Earnings Improvement In The Airline Business Continues • AirTran Back in the Bidding for Midwest
Stocks to watch: NWA. Competitors: LUV, AAI, MEH. ETFs: IYT
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