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United Airlines : revenue tops estimates as travel rebounds, sees 3rd-quarter turning point

07/20/2021 | 05:21pm EDT
FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: A United Airlines passenger jet takes off with New York City as a backdrop

CHICAGO, July 20 (Reuters) - United Airlines reported its sixth consecutive quarterly loss on Tuesday due to the coronavirus pandemic, though revenue quadrupled from a year ago and topped estimates with a strong domestic travel rebound.

U.S. leisure travel has nearly recovered to pre-pandemic levels as more people fly for vacation or to visit friends and family following a massive nationwide vaccination campaign.

Chicago-based United said it will continue ramping up flying in the third quarter and forecast its total unit revenue - comparing sales to flight capacity - for the period will be higher than the same quarter in 2019, a turning point for the airline.

The company said business and long-haul international travel, to which it is more exposed than rivals, accelerated faster than anticipated, and it expects a full recovery in demand by 2023.

United's adjusted net loss narrowed to $1.26 billion, or $3.91 per share, in the quarter, from $2.6 billion, or $9.31 per share, a year ago. Analysts had estimated a loss of $3.94, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Excluding items, the company lost $434 million in the second quarter. United has said it expects to be profitable in the third and fourth quarter.

United's second-quarter adjusted operating revenue rose to $5.47 billion from about $1.47 billion a year ago, above analysts' average estimate of $5.35 billion.

U.S. airlines have played down concerns over the impact of a resurgence in COVID-19, spurred by the more contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus, which has become dominant in the United States and many other nations.

United's quarterly revenue was just half of the roughly $10 billion it booked in the same quarter of 2019 before the pandemic jolted the travel industry.

Its shares slipped 0.5% to $46.08 in extended trading after the U.S. airline index had its largest daily percentage gain on Tuesday since November.

As demand returns, U.S. airlines - which benefited from $54 billion in federal COVID-19 aid for workers' salaries - have rushed to restore their operations.

United last month unveiled its largest-ever aircraft order for 270 jets in a push to boost its domestic capacity by almost 30% and better compete for both premium and low-cost travel.

It has also announced a string of investments related to sustainability and innovation as airlines face renewed scrutiny over their environmental impact.

Rival Delta Air Lines last week reported a quarterly profit. American Airlines and Southwest Airlines are due to report on Thursday.

United will discuss the results with analysts and investors on Wednesday. (Reporting by Tracy Rucinski; additional reporting by Rodrigo Campos Editing by Bill Berkrot)

ę Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC. 3.04% 20.33 Delayed Quote.28.92%
UNITED AIRLINES HOLDINGS, INC. 1.64% 45.27 Delayed Quote.4.67%
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Analyst Recommendations on UNITED AIRLINES HOLDINGS, INC.
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Financials (USD)
Sales 2021 25 107 M - -
Net income 2021 -1 773 M - -
Net Debt 2021 20 186 M - -
P/E ratio 2021 -7,67x
Yield 2021 -
Capitalization 14 650 M 14 650 M -
EV / Sales 2021 1,39x
EV / Sales 2022 0,84x
Nbr of Employees 84 400
Free-Float 99,8%
Duration : Period :
United Airlines Holdings, Inc. Technical Analysis Chart | UAL | US9100471096 | MarketScreener
Technical analysis trends UNITED AIRLINES HOLDINGS, INC.
Short TermMid-TermLong Term
Income Statement Evolution
Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 21
Last Close Price 45,27 $
Average target price 59,11 $
Spread / Average Target 30,6%
EPS Revisions
Managers and Directors
J. Scott Kirby Chief Executive Officer & Director
Brett J. Hart President
Gerald Laderman Chief Financial Officer & Executive Vice President
Linda P. Jojo Chief Digital Officer & Executive VP-Technology
Jonathan Roitman Chief Operations Officer & Executive VP
Sector and Competitors