United Airlines’ Q4 Results Exceed Expectations

United Airlines (NASDAQ: UAL), one of the foremost airline companies in the country, has reported better-than-expected results for the quarter ended December 31, 2021, as both revenue and earnings surpassed estimates. The company also provided its outlook for the first quarter of 2022.

Revenue & Earnings

United Airlines has reported a quarterly loss of $1.60 per share, lower than the loss of $7 per share reported in the previous year. Further, the figure came in narrower than the consensus estimate of a loss of $2.08 per share.

The company’s operating revenue witnessed a massive year-over-year jump of 140% to $8.19 billion. The figure comfortably surpassed the consensus estimate of $7.99 billion. The growth was primarily driven by passenger revenues, which witnessed a rise of 185% from the previous year and made up 84% of the company’s operating revenue.

Other Operating Metrics

The company has reported total revenue per available seat mile of 14.94 cents for the quarter, up 34.3% from the previous year.

Moreover, the company’s average yield per revenue passenger mile stood at 16.30 cents, which denotes an increase of 15.4% from the prior year.

Outlook

For the first quarter of 2022, the company expects the capacity to be down by 16% to 18% against the first quarter of 2019. United Airlines expects total operating revenue to decline by almost 20% to 25% against the first quarter of 2019.

CEO’s Comments

The CEO of United Airlines, Scott Kirby, said, “While Omicron is impacting near term demand, we remain optimistic about the spring and excited about the summer and beyond. We look forward to beginning to return the Pratt & Whitney 777s to service this quarter and getting the full airline back to normal utilization — as we ramp up along with demand this year. By investing in innovative technology, focusing on process improvements and implementing a transformative United Next strategy, we’re poised to emerge as an aviation leader that’s more efficient than before and serves our customers better than ever.”

Stock Rating

Recently, Barclays analyst Brandon Oglenski reiterated a Hold rating on the stock with a price target of $52, which implies upside potential of 17.1% from current levels.

The Wall Street community is cautiously optimistic about the stock with a Moderate Buy consensus rating based on 6 Buys, 3 Holds and 1 Sell. The average United Airlines price target of $60.20 implies that the stock has upside potential of 35.6% from current levels. Shares have declined about 1.7% over the past year.

Website Traffic

TipRanks’ Website Traffic Tool, which uses data from SEMrush Holdings (SEMR), the world’s biggest website usage monitoring service, offers insight into United Airlines’ performance this quarter.

According to the tool, the United Airlines website recorded a 44.92% monthly rise in global visits in December, compared to the same period last year. Moreover, year-to-date, the website traffic has grown 45.11%, compared to the previous year.

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