US Airways Confirms It Has Hired M&A Advisors For Possible AMR Takeover

US Airways Express: Air Wisconsin Airlines

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US Airways has confirmed that it has retained Barclays Capital and Millstein & Co., among others, to explore a possible takeover of AMR, the bankrupt holding company of American Airlines, Douglas Parker, the company’s CEO said on US Air’s fourth quarter conference call.The response comes after reports surfaced last week that the company was exploring options to make a bid for the carrier.

“So while its no longer imperitive that our industry consolidate, we are of course always interested in exploring value enhancing deals,” Parker said on the call.

He announced the news in an attempt to head off questions on the call, when the company reported sharply higher earnings than analysts had expected.

For the fourth quarter, US Airways said it had net profit excluding special charges of $21 million, or $0.13 per share. Wall Street sell-side analysts forecast earnings of $0.03. The company also topped revenue guidance, at $3.15 billion for the quarter — $10 million higher than predicted. 

Full year results were also strong at the Tempe, Arizona, based airline, with revenues of $13.1 billion, up 9.6% year-on-year. Net profits excluding one time charges were $111 million, down 75% from 2010.

Shares are up more than 14% on the news.