US Airways Doubles Quarterly Earnings in One Year

US Airways (NYSE:LCC) had a big year in 2012, far bigger than 2011, and is looking to see what it can do to make 2013 bigger still.

In the fourth quarter, the airline crushed earnings from same quarter in the previous year — earnings grew from $21 million to $46 million, excluding one-time items. Doubling earnings is certainly one way for the company to show its health.

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But quintupling profits is even better. The company’s profit for all of 2012 reached $537 million — almost five times the profit for 2011, and a record annual profit for the company. This number still excludes special one-time items that the airline made money on. If those items are included, the airline’s new profit was 797 percent higher — yes, that’s the correct figure — than the $71 million it brought in for 2011, reaching $637 million for 2012. Revenue also reached a record at $3.3 billion.

While the company is expanding its coffers, it is also looking to expand in other ways. One event that could profoundly affect US Airways is the possible merger with the bankrupt American Airlines. If the two airlines joined together, they would become the world’s largest airline by air traffic. The prospect of the merger is still uncertain, but the two airlines are in talks.

US Airways is also looking to expand the infrastructure it relies on to get into the air. The airline is extending its lease at Philadelphia International Airport for another two years, which will allow for $734 million in improvements to the airport. Just what those improvements will be is unclear, but the airline is looking to improve air traffic, which could allow it to serve more customers, and boost its earnings for 2013 to even higher numbers.

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