Are United Airlines Earnings Enough for Investors?

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United Airlines Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: UAL) released second-quarter financial results after markets closed Tuesday. The company said that it had $4.21 in earnings per share (EPS) and $11.4 billion in revenue, compared with consensus estimates that called for $4.08 in EPS and $11.34 billion in revenue. The same period of last year had $3.23 in EPS and $10.78 billion in revenue.

Consolidated second-quarter passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) increased 2.5% year-over-year. At the same time, the consolidated second-quarter unit cost per available seat mile (CASM) decreased 0.4%.

In terms of its segments, United reported:

  • Passenger revenue increased 6.1% to $10.49 billion.
  • Cargo revenue decreased 6.1% to $295 billion.
  • Other operating revenues increased 6.5% to $621 million.

During the quarter, United repurchased $536 million of its common shares. Looking ahead, the board of directors authorized a new $3 billion share repurchase plan on July 15.

Oscar Munoz, CEO of United Airlines, commented:

Thanks to the outstanding and sustained efforts of 95,000 United team members, United is now consistently delivering results for our customers as well as investors as we raise the mid-point of our full-year 2019 adjusted diluted EPS guidance with a new range of $10.50 to $12.00. By once again delivering strong EPS over the last three months, top-tier results are now the expectation, not the exception for United.

Shares of United closed Tuesday at $93.92, with a 52-week range of $71.98 to $97.85. The consensus analyst price target is $105.59. Following the announcement, the stock was relatively flat at $94.00 in the after-hours session.

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