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Hawaiian Airlines' parent posts profit on strength of $8.4 million gain from fuel hedging

By Dave Segal

LAST UPDATED: 12:21 p.m. HST, Apr 26, 2011

The parent of Hawaiian Airlines avoided finishing in the red during the first quarter as it parlayed an $8.4 million net gain from fuel hedging into an overall profit of $855,000.

In the year-earlier quarter, Hawaiian had net income of $216,000, or break-even on a per-share basis. The earnings per share last quarter were 2 cents.

Hawaiian Holdings Inc. said today that aircraft fuel expenses jumped 55.6 percent, or $39 million, during the period ended March 31. But the company benefited from fuel-hedging activity that enabled it to lock in some of its fuel costs before they rose. The company said its average cost per gallon of jet fuel, including taxes and delivery, gained 32.4 percent to $2.86 from $2.16 a year ago.

The company's operating results, which exclude the fuel hedging, resulted in an operating loss of $4.9 million in the quarter compared with operating income of $5.6 million in the year-earlier quarter.

Revenue rose 22.5 percent to $365.6 million from $298.4 million.

Mark Dunkerley, president and CEO of Hawaiian, said the company "did a good job" of mitigating the effects of the rising cost of fuel and the tragedy in Japan.

"Fuel prices have climbed further since then, creating a substantial challenge for all airlines, including Hawaiian," Dunkerley said. "We will continue our focus on controlling these costs that lie within our grasp."

Hawaiian's stock fell 1 cent to $5.58 before the earnings were announced after the market closed.   




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