United Airlines posts $843 million profit, bullish on 2023

Jan 17, 2023, 2:17 PM | Updated: Jan 18, 2023, 3:36 am
FILE - A Boeing 737-700 United Airlines flight from West Palm Beach, Florida taxis at Newark Libert...

FILE - A Boeing 737-700 United Airlines flight from West Palm Beach, Florida taxis at Newark Liberty International Airport in Elizabeth, N.J., on Thursday, January 12, 2022. United Airline reports earnings on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey, File)

(AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey, File)

United Airlines reported fourth-quarter profit and revenue higher than Wall Street expectations and gave a bullish 2023 forecast that assumes people will keep traveling despite inflation and concern about the economy.

After the stock market closed Tuesday, United said it earned $843 million in the quarter.

The Chicago-based airline said it is seeing strong demand for flights extending into into the new year, which will help the company cover expected increases in labor costs as it negotiates new union contracts.

United predicted that its first-quarter earnings per share will easily top analysts’ expectations. Its stock rose modestly, less than 2%, in after-market trading.

The report from United comes on the heels of upbeat comments by its closest rivals, Delta Air Lines and American Airlines.

Officials with all three carriers say that consumers are still booking travel despite concern about the economy — tech companies in particular have been laying off workers — and high inflation.

Airline tickets are contributing to inflation. In December, they cost 28.5% more than a year earlier, according to government figures. United passengers paid on average 25.5% more per mile than a year ago, and 20.8% more than in late 2019.

Those higher fares are due to strong demand and a limited number of flights as airlines continue to rebuild operations that were slashed after the pandemic devastated air travel.

United said in a regulatory filing that the number of flights this year will be held down by a pilot shortage, the need to keep bigger staffs as a cushion against COVID-10 sick calls, delays in getting new planes, and technology limits.

Most major airlines say they are fully staffed now, although they are catching up on training thousands of new workers, including pilots.

United said its fourth-quarter profit worked out to $2.46 per share after excluding certain items. That beat Wall Street’s mean forecast of $2.11 per share in adjusted profit, according to a survey by FactSet. Revenue was $12.4 billion.

For the first quarter, United is projecting profit of 50 cents to $1 per share, which would exceed the analysts’ forecast of 31 cents per share. United said it will earn $10 to $12 per share for all of 2023, which would handily beat Wall Street’s expectation of $6.84.

Company officials were scheduled to hold a call with analysts on Wednesday.

Delta reported last week that it made $828 million in the fourth quarter, but it gave a disappointing outlook for first-quarter profit because, it said, it included the potential cost of a new contract with pilots that — if ratified in the weeks ahead — would be retroactive to Jan. 1.

Also last week, American Airlines raised expectations for results that it will post on Jan. 26.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE -  In this aerial photo taken with a drone, flood waters surround storm damaged homes on Aug. ...
Associated Press

Filipino workers: Oil company abandoned us in Hurricane Ida

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — As Hurricane Ida struck the Louisiana Gulf Coast in August 2021, Renato Decena and Rosel Hernandez watched the storm punch a hole in the roof of the bunkhouse where they were sheltered — abandoned, they allege, by their offshore oil industry employer as the hurricane bore down. “I could not think […]
10 hours ago
FILE - Tubes direct blood from a donor into a bag in Davenport, Iowa, on Friday, Nov. 11, 2022.  Th...
Associated Press

FDA moves to ease rules for blood donations from gay men

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. is moving to further ease restrictions on blood donations from gay and bisexual men and other groups that typically face higher risks of HIV. The Food and Drug Administration on Friday announced draft guidelines that would do away with the current three-month abstinence requirement for donations from men who have […]
10 hours ago
FILE -Brian Walshe listens during his arraignment Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023, at Quincy District Cour...
Associated Press

Internet evidence key, but not enough in no-body murder case

BOSTON (AP) — Prosecutors in Massachusetts are basing their murder case against a man whose wife is presumed dead but whose body has not been found in large part on a series of gruesome internet searches he made around the time of her disappearance. Scouring data on personal electronic devices is a common strategy in […]
10 hours ago
Associated Press

Explosion in Polish parish house kills 1, injures 7

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Officials in southern Poland said that a person was found dead Friday after an explosion demolished half of an old Evangelical parish house in the city of Katowice. The explosion injured at least seven people, and one person remained missing, according to the regional governor. Gov. Jaroslaw Wieczorek said two women […]
10 hours ago
FILE - Company logo shines off the grille of an unsold 2023 F-150 Lightning pickup truck Thursday, ...
Associated Press

Ford recalls nearly 383K SUVs to fix backup camera problem

DETROIT (AP) — Ford is recalling nearly 383,000 SUVs in the U.S. because the touch screens may not display a camera image when backing up. The recall covers certain 2020 to 2023 Ford Explorers and Lincoln Aviators, and some 2020 to 2022 Lincoln Corsairs. All are equipped with 360-degree cameras. Ford says in government documents […]
10 hours ago
A new Jeep is delivered to a dealership in Pittsburgh on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023. On Friday, the Comm...
Associated Press

US inflation and consumer spending cooled in December

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge eased further in December, and consumer spending fell — the latest evidence that the Fed’s series of interest rate hikes are slowing the economy. Friday’s report from the Commerce Department showed that prices rose 5% last month from a year earlier, down from a 5.5% year-over-year […]
10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Company looking for oldest air conditioner and wants to reward homeowner with new one

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.
(Pexels Photo)...

Sports gambling can be fun for adults, but it’s a dangerous game for children

While adults may find that sports gambling is a way to enhance the experience with more than just fandom on the line, it can be a dangerous proposition if children get involved in the activity.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
United Airlines posts $843 million profit, bullish on 2023