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United Airlines beats expectations as international travel demand gives it a boost


By Liz Moyer — United Airlines Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:UAL) reported better than expected first quarter results and forecast a profitable second quarter on a surge in travel demand. 

The carrier reported revenue of $11.43 billion and an adjusted per-share loss of 63 cents. Analysts expected a first-quarter loss of 73 cents on sales of $11.42B. 

The company was positive on the second quarter, forecasting earnings per share of $3.50 to $4 and a revenue gain of 14% to 16% from the same quarter last year. It said international travel demand was growing twice as fast as domestic demand.

United affirmed its view for full-year earnings of $10 to $12 a share. Analysts expect full-year 2023 earnings per share of $8.56 on revenue of $53.02B.

Shares rose 1.4% in after-hours trading and are up 14% so far this year.

In March, United forecast a quarterly loss in a range of 60 cents to $1 a share, blaming higher fuel prices and lower demand in the first two months of the year. But the company also said it was moving costs from a potential deal with pilots into the first quarter. 

Signs of stronger travel demand in spring would likely be a catalyst for the stock.

CEO Scott Kirby said: “We are watching the macroeconomic risks carefully, but demand remains strong, especially internationally, where we are growing at twice the domestic rate. We expect all of these factors will keep us on track to achieve our full-year adjusted diluted EPS target.”



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