Wider Loss for US Airways
US Airways Group, which was bought by America West Holdings in September, posted a sharply wider third-quarter loss because of merger-related expenses and fuel costs. The company said it lost $87 million, compared with the $29 million America West lost in the third quarter last year. The third-quarter 2005 numbers are for 88 days of operations at America West and four days of combined results of the new company. Revenue was up 36 percent, to $926 million.
Traffic increased 7.9 percent, to 6.72 billion revenue passenger miles -- one customer flown a mile. Occupancy fell, however, to 79.9 percent from 81.4 percent a year ago.
AIG to Restate Earnings Again
American International Group will restate the past five years of earnings for a second time to fix errors in accounting for derivative securities. The company estimated that it understated profit by $500 million from 2000 through the first half of 2005, after reducing profit by $3.9 billion in May.
AIG didn't give any reassurance that it had fixed all its accounting errors. The company, which blamed its former senior management for much of the first restatement, said the mistakes stem from some of the same lack of controls it identified earlier. AIG ousted Maurice R. "Hank" Greenberg as chief executive officer in March and has pledged to resolve a securities fraud suit from New York state Attorney General Eliot L. Spitzer.
Delta Pilots Propose Concessions
The pilots union at Delta Air Lines said in a court filing that it is offering the carrier an average of nearly $91 million a year in concessions, which the union contends is sufficient to help Delta as it tries to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and trim labor costs to a competitive level. The company had been seeking $325 million in concessions.
The disclosure came in an objection the Air Line Pilots Association filed in response to Delta's request to void its pilot contract. If granted, Delta is likely to impose the $325 million in concessions, including a 19.5 percent pay cut and benefit and work-rule changes.
The ALPA filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York said Delta's Sept. 14 bankruptcy was not because of its labor contract or competition from discount carriers but was caused by soaring fuel costs.
Citigroup to Sell Weil Unit
Citigroup, the biggest U.S. financial services company, plans to sell the Howard Weil energy research and trading unit that is part of a $3.7 billion swap of businesses with Legg Mason.
Weil, which has belonged to Legg Mason since 1987, said its employees agreed to buy the company from Citigroup by Dec. 1, when Legg Mason plans to close its deal with Citigroup. Terms of the purchase were not disclosed. Howard Weil is based in New Orleans. Its operations moved to Houston in August because of Hurricane Katrina.
FDA Limits Claims on Lycopene
Producers of tomatoes, tomato sauce and dietary supplements containing lycopene -- the substance that makes tomatoes red -- will not be allowed to advertise claims that they reduce the risk of many forms of cancer, the Food and Drug Administration said. Companies will be able to suggest a limited link between tomatoes and a lowered risk of prostate cancer, the agency said.
In response to proposals from industry and other groups, the FDA said it will allow only a few limited health claims to appear on packages of tomatoes and tomato sauce. It also rejected proposals to advertise lycopene alone -- available in supplements -- as having cancer-related benefits.
Marvel Entertainment, which holds the rights to Spider-Man and the Incredible Hulk, said third-quarter profit dropped 32 percent, to $23.4 million from $34.4 million in the comparable quarter a year earlier. Revenue dropped 40 percent, to $81.1 million.
Whole Foods Market said profit for its fiscal fourth quarter fell 68 percent to $9.1 million, because of $16.5 million in costs related to Hurricane Katrina and an $18 million stock-based compensation charge. Sales for the quarter ended Sept. 25 rose 20 percent, to $1.12 billion. For the full year, profit rose 5 percent, to $136.4 million, as sales increased 22 percent, to $4.7 billion.
Compiled from staff and news service reports.