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Northwest Airlines reports $256 million loss

By Karren Mills

Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS -- Northwest Airlines posted a $256 million loss in the fourth quarter as air travel dropped sharply following the Sept. 11 attacks, but said it expects to be among the first major carriers to return to profitability.

The loss, which excludes federal airline bailout money and other one-time items, amounted to $3.02 per share, beating by 16 cents the $3.18 loss per share expected by analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial/First Call.

Revenues for the fourth quarter were $1.99 billion, down 27 percent from $2.70 billion in the last quarter of 2000. However, revenues have improved each month since September and that trend is continuing in January, said Richard Anderson, chief executive officer.

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