United Airlines (UAL) earnings 3Q 22

A United Airlines Boeing 737 Max 9 lands at San Francisco International Airport on March 13, 2019 in Burlingame, California.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

United Airlines forecast another year-end profit and said consumer appetite for travel shows no signs of abating, despite high airfares.

Shares jumped more than 7% in after-hours trading on Tuesday.

“Looking ahead to the end of the year, the airline expects strong COVID recovery trends to continue to overcome recessionary pressures in the macroeconomic environment,” United said in an earnings statement. . “The airline now expects the fourth quarter adjusted operating margin to exceed 2019 for the first time.”

The Chicago-based carrier posted third-quarter profit of $942 million, down 8% from three years ago, and revenue of $12.88 billion, better than industry estimates. analysts and up 13% from 2019.

Adjusting for one-time items, United earned $2.81 a share, easily beating the $2.28 analysts polled by Refinitiv had expected.

United said it expects adjusted earnings per share of up to $2.25 for the fourth quarter, well ahead of analysts’ estimates of 98 cents, according to Refinitiv.

The strong summer travel season and sunny outlook for the rest of the year show consumers are willing to pay for travel, a turnaround since the start of the pandemic when Covid-19 restrictions devastated travel demand . Delta Airlines last week said he brought record income for the third quarter and forecast another profit for the fourth quarter.

The optimistic outlook from airline executives contrasts with other sectors which have struggle this year, including parts of the detail the industry and some streaming platforms that benefited from lockdowns at the start of the pandemic.

Here’s how United fared in the third quarter relative to what Wall Street expected, based on average estimates compiled by Refinitiv:

  • Adjusted earnings per share: $2.81 vs $2.28 expected
  • Total income: $12.88 billion vs $12.75 billion expected.

US airline executives recently noted high demand in Europe well past the summer peak and well into the fall, and are retaining more capacity in those markets in response, CNBC reported last month.

Airlines remain limited in the number of flights they can offer as aircraft deliveries are delayed due to supply chain issues and other issues, and carriers are scrambling to hire and train new employees, especially pilots.

The limited supply of flights keeps fares high. United said its third-quarter revenue per available seat mile was up more than 25% from three years earlier. For the current quarter, he expects this metric to be up by as much as that amount from 2019.

Meanwhile, the carrier said its fourth-quarter capacity would likely be down about 10% from 2019, similar to its third-quarter capacity.

United executives will hold a call with analysts on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. EDT.

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