United Airlines reports a sharp decline in quarterly revenue, shares down

United Airlines reports a sharp decline in quarterly revenue, shares down

United Airlines Holdings Inc. (UAL) shares fell more than 5 percent this morning after the Chicago, Illinois-based airline reported that its third-quarter revenue declined 78 percent, mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company posted a loss of $1.8 billion, or $6.33 per share for the quarter, as compared to a profit of $1 billion, or $3.99 per share in the comparable period last year. On an adjusted basis, UAL lost $8.16 per share, versus adjusted earnings of $4.07 per share last year. Analysts surveyed by FactSet were looking for an adjusted loss of $7.53 per share.

Revenue took a sharp dive in the quarter and came in at $2.49 billion, well below $11.38 billion in the same period last year, and behind consensus forecast of $2.50 billion.

The company’s passenger revenue plummeted 84 percent to $1.7 billion in the quarter. Speaking on the quarterly performance, UAL said its Q3 revenue is expected to be better than the rest of the major airlines.

United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby said in a statement the airline had to take some extraordinary decisions to survive through the worst financial crisis that include some painful moves, like furloughing 13,000 employees. However, the company hope to call those employees back once the situations improves. UAL has raised over $22 billion since the start of pandemic through different measures including Cares Act relief and debt offerings.

The company’s liquidity was $19.4 billion as of September 30, offering it room to smoothly run its operations during the pandemic. UAL also cut its operating expenses by a hefty 59 percent.

If we look at UAL stock performance this year, it has plummeted more than 60 percent year-to-date. The 52-week range of the stock is $17.80-$95.16, while its market cap stands at $9.84 billion. UAL shares are currently trading around $34 on volume of 10.6 million.

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