Why United Continental (UAL) Stock Is Down Today

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- United Continental  (UAL) fell Friday after the airline reported it lost money in the first quarter, while peer companies Southwest Airlines  (LUV) and American Airlines Group  (AAL) reported record profits.

United lost $609 million in the first quarter. Excluding items, the loss was $1.33 a share. Revenue dipped 0.3% to $8.70 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected a loss of $1.35 a share on $8.71 billion in revenue.

Revenue for every seat flown one mile, a crucial metric for measuring an airline's health, dropped 2%. United cited canceled flights as the primary reason for this decline.

The stock was down 2.67% to $40.42 at 12:45 p.m. on Friday.

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates UNITED CONTINENTAL HLDGS INC as a "hold" with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate UNITED CONTINENTAL HLDGS INC (UAL) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed ? some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, revenue growth and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including generally higher debt management risk, weak operating cash flow and poor profit margins."

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