(Reuters) - American Airlines Group Inc <AAL.O>, the No. 1 U.S. airline by passenger traffic, reported a fall in profit from a year earlier, when it recorded a $3 billion tax benefit.

The company said its net income fell to $289 million, or 56 cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, from $3.28 billion, or $5.09 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the airline earned $1.48 per share.

(Reporting by Arunima Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Martina D'Couto)