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SkyWest Inc. has posted a fourth-quarter net income of $13.9 million, or 27 cents per share, as the St. George-based parent company of SkyWest Airlines and ExpressJet continued efforts to reduce costs under a profit-improvement plan.

The net income was a marked turnaround from the same quarter of last year, when the regional airline holding company reported a loss of $18 million, or 35 cents per share.

"This is a solid result for a quarter that can typically be vary challenging," Jerry C. Atkin, SkyWest's chairman and CEO, said in a statement. "We continue to make positive progress in our cost-reduction efforts that are resulting in improved profits, quarter-over-quarter."

Operating revenue totaled $810.7 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with $899.9 million for the same period in 2011.

The revenue shortfall was the result of its major airline partners — Delta Air Lines and United Airlines — changing their fuel-buying strategies. Instead of reimbursing SkyWest for fuel costs, the big carriers have increased the amount of fuel they buy directly for SkyWest.

For its 2012 fiscal year, SkyWest reported revenue of $3.53 billion, a 3.3 percent decline from the $3.65 billion recorded in fiscal 2011.

Net income was $51.2 million, or 99 cents per share, compared with a loss of $27.3 million, or 52 cents per share, in the previous fiscal year.

SkyWest noted that as of Dec. 31, it had $709.4 million in cash and marketable securities on hand, compared with $646.5 million as of Dec. 31, 2011. And, its long-term debt was $1.47 billion, compared with $1.61 billion.

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