Shares of AMR Corp. skyrocketed almost 43 percent on Wednesday, a day after an AMR attorney indicated that stock in the bankrupt carrier could still have value.
Traders bid up shares of the parent company of American Airlines as AMR’s board of directors met at an undisclosed location to discuss a possible merger with US Airways. More than 54 million shares exchanged hands; in the past three months, the average daily trading volume was about 3 million shares. The closing share price was $1.29, up 39 cents.
No decision on a merger came out of the board meeting and the carrier declined to comment on what was discussed.
Analysts had predicted the stock, which began trading on the over-the-counter market after American filed for bankruptcy in November 2011, would become essentially worthless. However, in a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission, AMR attorney Harvey Miller said “there may be value for AMR equity holders” as the company’s value has “significantly appreciated” while it has restructured under bankruptcy protection.
Also Wednesday, AMR said its consolidated passenger traffic increased 2 percent as the Fort Worth-based carrier grew its capacity by 2.1 percent. Its load factor rose 0.1 percentage points to 80.2 percent compared to December 2011. The company reports traffic results for American Airlines and American Eagle together.
The prospect of a merger between American and US Airways carries implications for Charlotte, where US Airways operates its largest hub. US Airways CEO Doug Parker has said Charlotte’s status as a hub would be safe in a merged airline, because of the low costs of operating in the city and its geographic location.