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American Airlines announces pay raises, and investors balk

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American Airlines is giving salary increases to its pilots and flight specialists, who have whined they are paid not as much as associates at other airlines. Wall Street isn’t happy.

The raises come to fruition two years before contract transactions. Accepting they support the expands, pilots and flight specialists will get extra pay totaling near $1 billion more than three years.

When American and different aircraft are seeing higher expenses for work, fuel, and support while thinking that its hard to raise airfares, this goodwill signal didn’t sit well with investors.

“This is frustrating. Labor is being paid first again. Shareholders get leftovers,” Citi analyst Kevin Crissey wrote in a note to customers. Investors demonstrated their disappointment by sending American Airlines Group Inc’s. Stock down 5.2% to $43.98 on Thursday.

Increasing costs hit the main concerns of all the major airlines in the first quarter. American said Thursday that benefit fell 67%. Not long ago, United said profit dove 69%, and Delta revealed a drop of 36%. Southwest Airlines Co., which additionally detailed income Thursday, said benefit dropped 31%; its shares fell 2.1% to $55.75.

The higher costs have alarmed investors because airlines have struggled to raise airfares — although there recently have been signs that fares are heading higher after falling for about two years. American said revenue for each seat flown one mile, a proxy for average fares, rose 2% in the main quarter and anticipates that it will rise again in the second quarter. Joined, Delta and Southwest all anticipate an expansion in the income measures, known as PRASM, for the present quarter.

In spite of the change in income, a significant part of the talk on American’s telephone call with analysts centered the decision to raise pay.

The union workers have been complaining loudly that they are paid not as much as their partners at Delta and United. Pilots now remain to get 8% more pay, and flight orderlies 5%. American gauges the raises will cost it $230 million this year and $350 million a year in 2018 and 2019.

CEO Doug Parker told examiners that the out-of-agreement raises “might surprise or even dismay some of you because it adds costs to the airline.”

Parker called the brings a speculation up in the organization that will prompt better administration by representatives and, in the long run, higher income.

The reality of the situation will become obvious eventually whether the speculation confirms. However, Parker was appropriate about how investigators would feel. Jamie Baker of Morgan Stanley minimized American shares to “neutral” from “overweight,” saying the compensation choice “establishes a worrying precedent, in our view, both for American and the industry.”

American’s net income was $234 million, or 46 pennies a share, down from $700 million, or $1.14 a share amid last year’s first quarter. Balanced for one-time picks up and costs, income were 61 pennies a share, 4 pennies superior to anything the gauge of examiners studied by Zacks Investment Research.

The airline posted revenue of $9.62 billion in the quarter, up 2% and by Street conjectures. In any case, the expansion in costs was an even sharper 11%.

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