United AirlinesUAL Corp. (UAUA), the parent of United Airlines, reported sharply higher earnings in the second quarter of $273 million, or $1.29 a share. That's up from from $28 million, or 19 cents a share, in the year-ago period, mainly due to a jump in international revenue. Excluding charges, UAL would have earned $430 million, or $1.95 per share. The company said this is its first quarterly profit on an adjusted basis since 2007.

Quarterly revenue rose 28.4% to $5.16 billion from $4 billion. Passenger revenue rose more than 28% compared to the same period last year. Analysts expected the airline to earn $1.74 a share on revenue of $5.11 billion, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.

"We are clearly on the right path toward our goal of achieving sustained and sufficient profitability across the economic cycle," said CFO Kathryn Mikells. "While there is much more work needed, our current results, including improvement in unit revenue, cost control, cash flow and profit margin, demonstrate substantial progress against our objective."

Regarding the merger with Continental Airlines (CAL), UAL said the integration planning process is underway.

Looking ahead, the company expects both mainline and consolidated unit cost per available seat mile to be up 2% to 3% year-over-year, excluding certain items, and to be up 3.3% to 4.3% year-over-year for the third quarter. UAUA shares traded slightly higher in premarket trading.

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