United Airlines Soars Higher on Q3 Results

United Airlines Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: UAL) released third-quarter financial results after markets closed Tuesday. The airline said that it had $4.07 in earnings per share (EPS) and $11.38 billion in revenue, compared with consensus estimates that called for $3.95 in EPS and $11.42 billion in revenue. The same period of last year reportedly had $3.06 in EPS and $11.0 billion in revenue.

Consolidated third-quarter passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) increased 1.7% year-over-year. At the same time, the consolidated third-quarter unit cost per available seat mile (CASM) increased by 2.1%.

In terms of its segments, United reported:

  • Passenger revenue increased by 3.6% to $10.48 billion.
  • Cargo revenue decreased 4.7% to $282 million.
  • Other operating revenues increased 5.1% to $617 million.

United raised its full-year guidance. The firm is now calling for $11.25 to $12.25 in EPS for 2019. Consensus estimates are calling for $11.85 in EPS and $43.22 billion in revenue for the year.

Oscar Munoz, CEO of United Airlines, commented:

Thanks to the outstanding efforts of our employees, United extended our streak of expanding pre-tax margin on a quarterly basis. It provides us further confidence to raise our full year 2019 adjusted diluted EPS guidance, putting us ahead of pace to achieve our goal of $11 to $13 in adjusted diluted EPS by the end of 2020. While headwinds affected the sector as a whole this quarter, United’s team once again demonstrated a robust ability to overcome adverse cost pressure, managing to continue growing our network while investing in winning our customers’ loyalty through smart enhancements to the United experience.

Shares of United Airlines closed Tuesday at $87.88, in a 52-week range of $77.02 to $97.85. The consensus price target is $109.94. Following the announcement, the stock was up less than 2% at $89.37 in the after-hours session.