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Morgan Stanley Boosts Continental Airlines Outlook


Morgan Stanley narrowed his loss estimate on Continental Airlines (CAL).

Analyst William Greene says Continental reported an estimated consolidated breakeven load factor of 74%, well below the total load factor of 81%. He says the estimated 4% to 5% rise in August mainline revenue per available seat mile is due entirely to fuller jets.

Green estimates Continental's August net margin was 8% to 9%, in line with July. In order for the airline to meet his 10-cent third-quarter loss estimate, Green says September's net margin must be roughly -20%. Depending on how demand shapes up in September, he think's theres probably upside risk to his third-quarter loss estimate.

He narrowed the $4.18 2003 loss per share estimate to a $4.10 loss, and now sees a $1.35 loss per share for 2004.


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