United Airlines shares surge on Q1 beat

United Continental Holdings Inc. (NYSE: UAL) announced its first quarter financial results on Tuesday and topped analysts estimates in both revenue and earnings, sending shares 3 percent higher at the opening bell on Wednesday.

For the first quarter, United reported revenue of $9.03 billion, increasing 7.2 percent year over year and beating analysts’ estimates by $30 million. The airline reported an EPS of $0.50, higher than Thomson Reuters’ estimates of $0.40.

Passenger revenue increased by 6.5 percent to $8.1 billion and cargo revenue increased by 23.1 percent to $293 million. Other revenues increased by 10.3 percent to $590 million.

United saw significant net income growth, increasing by 50 percent year over year to $147 million.

Revenue was slightly hindered by increasings costs of aircraft fuel. Aircraft fuel expenses jumped 26 percent year over year to $1.97 billion.

“The exceptional operational performance United's employees delivered over the past quarter is impressive.  Even more so when we consider United achieved the best departure performance among our largest competitors despite four nor'easters and other weather disruptions." said Oscar Munoz, chief executive officer of United Airlines.

“We continue to execute our strategy to strengthen and grow our domestic network, drive asset efficiency and productivity, while also continuing our focus on our customers." concluded Munoz.

For the full year 2018, United forecasts diluted EPS to be between $7.00 and $8.50.

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