United Posts $323 Million Loss

United ( UAUA) lost $323 million in the second quarter as revenue fell 25%, and the airline said it planned further reductions in international capacity.

The loss, excluding special items, was $2.23 a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had estimated a loss of $2.56 a share. Revenue was $4 billion. Analysts had estimated $4.1 billion.

Including non-cash hedge gains, United reported a net profit of $28 million.

The $323 million loss "represents about a $50 million improvement over last year," said CFO Kathryn Mikells, in a message to employees. "Our results are in line with results reported from American Airlines ( AMR) last week and are a bit better than Wall Street analysts were projecting."
Layoffs

Mikells said United would reduce international capacity by an additional 7% during the last four months of the year.

The carrier said consolidated passenger revenue per available seat mile fell 17.2% including a 29% decline in the Pacific, a 22.5% decline in the Atlantic and a 34% decline in Latin America. Ancillary revenues, including bag fees and ticket change fees, improved PRASM by 1.5 points.

On the cost side, mainline cost per available seat mile excluding fuel fell 1.2%, despite a mainline capacity reduction of 10.8%. United said it has reduced planned 2009 capital expenditures to $300 million, compared with a previously announced $450 million.

United ended the quarter with total cash of $2.8 billion, including unrestricted cash of $2.6 billion.

"This is a resilient industry, and we are a resilient company," said CEO Glenn Tilton, in a prepared statement. "While there is much outside our control -- including the state of the economy and the price of oil -- we are focused and executing against those things we can control."

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