United Airlines profits surge nearly 40% on cheaper fuel and strong demand

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A United Airlines passenger jet takes off with New York City as a backdrop, at Newark Liberty International Airport, New Jersey.

Chris Helgren | Reuters

United Airlines Holdings’ fourth-quarter profits surged nearly 40% in the last three months of 2019 from a year earlier, thanks to strong travel demand and less expensive fuel.

The Chicago-based carrier reported earnings and revenue on Tuesday that narrowly beat analysts’ estimates, sending shares up slightly in postmarket trading. 

United posted net income of $614 million, up 39% from the year-earlier period on revenues of $10.89 billion, nearly 4% higher than a year earlier and slightly above analyst estimates.

The carrier’s adjusted per-share earnings came in at $2.67 on an adjusted basis, compared with $2.65 analysts polled by Refinitiv were expecting.

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