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Hawaiian Airlines earnings sink 70.4%

By Dave Segal

LAST UPDATED: 1:30 p.m. HST, Jan 31, 2012

The earnings of Hawaiian Airlines’ parent plunged 70.4 percent in the fourth quarter as rising fuel costs continued to eat into profits.

Hawaiian Holdings Inc. reported today net income of $20.9 million, or 40 cents a share, compared with $70.6 million, or $1.36 a share, a year ago, when the company had $56.9 million in nonrecurring tax benefits.

Revenue jumped 26.2 percent to $434 million from $343.8 million.

Fuel costs jumped 47.8 percent to $132.5 million from $89.7 million.

Adjusted for economic fuel expense and non-recurring tax benefits, the company had net income of $16.3 million, or 31 cents a share, compared with $11.3 million, or 21 cents a share, a year ago

“We are pleased with the fourth-quarter results, which continue the trend of improvement that began midyear,” Hawaiian President and CEO Mark Dunkerley said. “Good cost control and fare increases enabled us to offset the 35 percent increase in the price of fuel. It is particularly noteworthy that these results were posted during a period in which our operations grew rapidly.”

For the year, Hawaiian lost $2.6 million, or 5 cents a share, compared with a profit of $110.3 million, or $2.10 a share, in 2010. The loss includes a pretax lease termination charge of $70 million taken in the second quarter tied to the purchase of 15 Boeing 717-200 interisland aircraft that Hawaiian had been leasing.

Revenue, though, rose 26 percent to $1.7 billion from $1.3 billion.

Fuel costs for the year increased 58.9 percent $513.3 million from $323 million.

Hawaiian’s stock closed up 14 cents to $6.96 today on the Nasdaq Stock Market to bring its gain for the year to 20 percent. The earnings were announced after the market closed.

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