United Airlines Reports Mixed Q1 Results; Shares Rise

United's adjusted EPS beat expectations, but GAAP EPS and revenue trailed forecasts, as the coronavirus hit hard.
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Shares of United Airlines Holdings  (UAL) - Get Report rose in after-hours trading Thursday after the beleaguered airline reported stronger adjusted results than expected in the first quarter amid the coronavirus pandemic.

United posted an adjusted loss of $2.57 per share in the quarter, far better than FactSet’s analyst consensus of a $2.85 loss.

United registered a net loss of $1.7 billion, or $6.86 per share, in the latest quarter, compared to a profit of $292 million, or $1.09 per share a year ago. The latest per-share loss was much worse than analysts’ forecast of a $2.88 loss

Revenue came in at $7.98 billion for the latest quarter, down 17% from $9.59 billion a year ago. The latest revenue figure lagged analysts’ prediction of $8.28 billion.

U.S. air travel fell off a cliff in March, as the coronavirus began its assault through the country.

“We've led the industry in taking decisive steps to mitigate the operational and financial impacts of Covid-19 -- making deep schedule reductions, drastically reducing spending and aggressively raising liquidity," United CEO Oscar Munoz said in a statement.

"While we are still in the midst of this crisis, we will not hesitate to make difficult decisions we believe will ensure the long term success of our company.”

United said last week that its revenue in the last two weeks of March was $100 million lower than the same period a year earlier. It said it plans to cancel 90% of its flights in May, as demand remains infinitesimal.

United already is slated to receive $5 billion in government aid and has applied for authority to borrow up to another $4.5 billion.

United shares stood at $30.15, up 1.93%, in after-hours trading. They have plummeted 61% over the last three months.