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United Airlines stock gains after Q1 earnings surpasses estimates

United Continental Holdings (NASDAQ: UAL), the parent of United Airlines, reported Q1 earnings results after the market close. The Chicago-based carrier beat consensus earnings target, while its revenue came in line with the estimates. Adjusted earnings jumped 135% year-over-year to $1.15 per share on revenue of $9.6 billion, which increased 6% for the first quarter. UAL stock was trading up about 3% during the extended trading hours.

United Continental - United Airlines (UAL) Q1 2019 earnings infograph
United Continental (UAL) Q1 2019 Earnings Infograph

Analysts had expected the airlines to post earnings of $0.94 per share on revenue $9.6 billion. On a GAAP basis, net income doubled to $292 million or $1.09 per share compared to $145 million or $0.51 per share in the prior year quarter. Total passenger revenue grew 7.1% to $8.73 billion.

The company maintained its long-term adjusted earnings per share targets of $10 to $12 in 2019 and $11 to $13 in 2020.

“We delivered another strong financial quarter in which we made important progress on our customer investments while making strategic decisions to manage our costs and producing pre-tax margin growth that we expect will lead our peers,” said CEO Oscar Munoz.

Also read: Boeing stock slips on 737 production cut

United Airlines took delivery of four Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft prior to the March 13, 2019 Federal Aviation Administration order grounding U.S.-registered 737 MAX aircraft and four Boeing 787-10 aircraft. The airlines has grounded Boeing 737 Max jets through early July as Boeing (BA) plans to fix 737 MAX jets with a software update. The regulators around the world grounded 737 MAX jets after the Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX crash that killed 157 people on March 10, 2019.

United’s peers American Airlines (AAL), Southwest Airlines (LUV) and Alaska Air Group (ALK) will be reporting their quarterly results on April 25. All the airline stocks are slightly up during the after-hours trading on Tuesday.

UAL stock, which ended the day by dropping 0.77% at $85.17, had gained about 2% since the beginning of 2019 and 27% in the past 12 months.

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