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American Airlines had a great Q3, posting record profits for the fourth quarter in a row.
Also, the company’s President Scott Kirby celebrated his 20 year anniversary at the company.
To congratulate Kirby and the company, one JP Morgan analyst made a reference to Mariah Carey.
“Doug, I think it’s only appropriate that you dedicate Mariah Carey’s hit single Fantasy to Scott as it was the Billboard number one on this day back in 2005,” said analyst Jamie Morgan during the earnings conference call.
Morgan misspoke a bit, though he was on the right track. “Fantasy” was released in 1995, when Kirby joined the company, not 2005.
These calls are designed for analysts and investors to get a little more information about the company’s business and go into their financials.
After covering the company for a while, however, sometimes the analysts can get a little more familiar, and both sides may let their guards down. This happens especially around major milestones such as executives retiring.
Typically the banter is measured. The phrase “great quarter guys” is a classic. But bringing up mid-1990s hit pop singles are not commonplace.
The light-hearted banter makes sense considering the quarter for American. Not only did the company complete a merger with US Airways, but it also reported $1.9 billion in profit helped by lower fuel costs.
CEO William Parker said the airline business is totally different from back when “Fantasy” hit the charts.
“In 2005, this industry lost $28 billion. In 2015, we’re going to make something close to $20 billion,” said Parker. “This business is not the same. It’s dramatically different. People that are worried that, oh, my gosh, now that fuel prices have fallen, fares falling and what are the airlines… see old business again, are missing the point and are missing what has happened. This business has dramatically transformed.”
Parker said that after 5 major mergers, the airline industry is more competitive and can produce value for investors.