UAL 4th-Quarter Adjusted Earnings and Revenue Exceed Estimates

United Airlines Holdings reported that fourth-quarter net income per share climbed 50% on 3.8% higher revenue. The revenue and adjusted earnings exceeded Wall Street's consensus.
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United Airlines Holdings (UAL) - Get Report reported that fourth-quarter net income per share climbed 50% on 3.8% higher revenue.

At the parent of United Airlines fourth-quarter earnings reached $2.53 a share from $1.69 in the year-earlier quarter. The latest adjusted earnings were $2.67 a share. Shares outstanding fell 7.1% to 253.4 million.

Revenue rose to $10.89 billion from $10.49 billion.

A survey of analysts by FactSet was looking for earnings of $2.56 a share, or an adjusted $2.65, on revenue of $10.89 billion.

UAL's operating-profit margin widened 1.8 percentage points to 7.9%. The pretax profit margin was 2.5 percentage points fatter at 7.8%.

Fuel costs dropped 5.5% in the quarter. Operating expense overall edged up 1.7%.

On Jan. 7 UAL said it expected to report a $90 million fourth-quarter charge associated with its Hong Kong routes. The company said the charge stemmed from its annual review of intangible assets. It reflected lower demand for the Hong Kong market and a resulting revenue decline at the unit.

UAL shares were trading little changed after hours. They'd finished the regular session down 4.4% at $85.79. Through the close of regular trading Tuesday, UAL shares were off 2.6% in 2020.

A number of major airline stocks were lower in Tuesday trading as investors expressed concern about the prospect that the coronavirus could damp demand for travel.

The coronavirus is apparently spreading in China and Asia more broadly, and the first U.S. case of the disease has been reported in Washington state.