United Airline's Quarter: Less Crash More Burn

United Airlines Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: UAL) released second-quarter financial results after markets closed Tuesday. This is easily the worst single quarter that this company has ever experienced. The results tell the tale of the tape.

Before earnings, perhaps the most important number in this report is cash burn. According to United, the cash burn during the second quarter averaged $40 million a day, including $3 million of principal payments and severance expenses.

Looking ahead, United expects an average daily cash burn of roughly $25 million during the third quarter, including $6 million of principal repayments and severance expenses.

In terms of the earnings or in this case loss, the airline said that it had a net loss of $5.79 per share and $1.48 billion in revenue, compared with consensus estimates that called for a net loss of $9.02 in EPS and $1.32 billion in revenue. In the same period of last year, United reported $4.21 in EPS and $11.4 billion in revenue.

Total operating revenues were down 87.1% year over year on an 87.8% decrease in capacity. The company’s liquidity as of Monday, July 20, was approximately $15.2 billion and the liquidity at the end of the third quarter is expected to be $18 billion.

In terms of its segments, United reported as follows:

  • Passenger revenue decreased by 93.5% to $681 million.
  • Cargo revenue increased 36% to $402 million.
  • Other operating revenues decreased by 36.9% to $392 million.

United issued no guidance in the release outside of cash burn. Consensus estimates are calling for a net loss of $5.80 per share and $3.25 billion in revenue for the third quarter.

Shares of United Airlines closed Tuesday at $33.07, in a 52-week range of $17.80 to $95.46. The consensus price target is $41.27. Following the announcement, the stock was up 1% at $33.41 in the after-hours session.