A United Airlines Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft lands at San Francisco International Airport in Burlingame, California on March 13, 2019.
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images
United Airlines reported its fifth straight quarterly loss on Monday, although demand for travel has improved recently as Covid-19 vaccinations rise and governments relax travel restrictions.
The company posted a net loss of $ 1.36 billion on revenue of $ 3.22 billion in the first quarter, a decrease of nearly 60 percent from revenue of nearly $ 8 billion in the first quarter of 2020 at $ 7.50, compared to the expected $ 7.08 per share analysts were expecting.
Here’s how United performed in the first quarter compared to Wall Street’s expectations, based on Refinitiv’s average estimates:
- Adjusted loss per share: $ 7.50 versus an expected loss of $ 7.08 per share
- Total sales: Expected $ 3.22 billion versus $ 3.26 billion
The Chicago-based airline said it can likely return to positive adjusted earnings before interest, borrowing, taxes, depreciation and EBITDA even if demand for business and international travel only returns to about 65% of 2019 levels.
“We have shifted our focus to the next milestone on the horizon and now see a clear path to profitability,” said CEO Scott Kirby in an earnings release. “We are encouraged by the strong demand for pent-up air travel and our continued ability to meet them quickly. Therefore, we remain confident that we will achieve our goal of exceeding 2019 Adjusted EBITDA margins in 2019.” 2023, if not earlier. “
United expects capacity to decrease 45% in the second quarter over the same period in 2019, compared to a 54% decrease in the first quarter over the same period two years ago. Revenue per seat mile, a measure of how airlines generate revenue versus capacity, is expected to decline 20% in the second quarter of 2019, the airline said.
Fuel costs continue to weigh on the airline and its competitors.
United shares fell about 2% in after-hours trading.
Company executives will discuss the findings on Tuesday at 10:30 am ET.
Correction: This story has been updated to correct the quarter United compared earnings. It was the first quarter of 2020.