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American Airlines CEO Talks 737 MAX Delays, Earnings And 2020 Outlook

Jayson Derrick

Shortly after American Airlines Group Inc (NASDAQ: AAL) reported fourth-quarter results Thursday morning, CEO Doug Parker was a guest on CNBC to discuss the quarter and what's next for the airliner.

American Airlines reported adjusted quarterly earnings of $1.15 per share, which missed the analyst estimate of $1.21. The company reported quarterly sales of $11.31 billion, which just missed the estimate of $11.32 billion.

Quarter In Review And 2020 Outlook

Parker said the results were highlighted by year-over-year earnings growth of nearly 20%, while other metrics hit record highs.

While the company has been generating record earnings, Parker said it hasn't been producing record cash flows as the company allocated earnings to purchasing new planes and integration responses from the mega-merger. The company is now beyond these investments, which marks an "exciting point" for American Airlines and its shareholders.

The company said in its earnings release it expects cash flow to total $6 billion over the next two years, which can be used to lower debt and reward shareholders.

"We feel really good about where we are today and the future," Parker said.

737 Max Update

Parker said he was "disappointed" Boeing Co's (NYSE: BA) 737 Max will return to service later than expected. The company had originally expected the plane to return to the skies in early June, but it's clear this date needs to be moved back.

View more earnings on AAL

Boeing is now offering more "realistic assessments" under the leadership of new CEO Dave Calhoun, he said, but it will take more than "one or two people" to see through the airplane's disruption. In the meantime, the airliner's main focus is growing in profitable markets with "whatever aircraft we have to grow with," the CEO said.

Boeing continues to do the "right thing" by compensating American Airlines and by default its shareholders for all damages incurred. Parker expects the company will continue doing so in the future.

American Airlines stock traded higher by 2.47% to $28 per share at time of publication.

Related Links:

Airlines Extend 737 MAX Blackouts As Boeing Eyes Earlier Production Start

Wall Street Weighs In On Boeing's Latest 737 Max Delay


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