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United Airlines Third-Quarter Sales Beat Estimates

United Airlines shares rose after hours Tuesday as it released third-quarter earnings that showed its sales beat analyst estimates.

United Airlines  (UAL) - Get United Airlines Holdings, Inc. Report released third-quarter earnings that showed its sales beat analyst estimates and the air carrier’s CEO Scott Kirby said the company is on target to meet its goals for 2022.

While the airline’s third-quarter sales of $7.75 billion beat analysts' estimate of $7.64 billion, they were 32% lower than the same period in 2019. United’s adjusted diluted loss per share of $1.02 also beat the analysts' estimate loss of $1.67 a share.

United  reported net income of $473 million, which was 54% lower than its 2019 income of $1.02 billion for the same period.

United’s stock rose by 2.2% to $47.24 after hours at last check. Shares dipped by 2% in Tuesday’s regular session, closing at $46.22.

"The recovery was delayed by the Delta variant, but the United team remains focused on our long-term vision – and not getting sidetracked by near-term volatility – meaning we're solidly on track to achieve the targets we set for 2022," Kirby said in a Tuesday statement. "From the return of business travel and the planned re-opening of Europe and early indications for opening in the Pacific, the headwinds we've faced are turning to tailwinds, and we believe that United is better positioned to lead the recovery than any airline in the world.

“Our recovery will be supported by investments in technology and other efficiencies that will give our employees the tools they need to take great care of our customers – and keep costs under control. I am grateful to our United team members for their continued commitment to our customers, because it has been essential to our ability to weather the pandemic, and it will fuel our success in the years ahead."

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United is currently in a court battle with its employees over its COVID-19 vaccination mandate. Six employees filed a class action lawsuit against the airline on Sept. 21 in response to the airline's vaccine mandate.

Kirby on Aug. 6 announced the airline's employee COVID-19 vaccine mandate that required employees to receive their first dose of vaccine and upload a copy of the vaccination record to a United database by Sept. 27 or face termination.

Kirby told CBS on Oct. 13 that 99.7% of United's 67,000 employees are vaccinated.