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United reported 46% jump in profits to $580MM ($1.99/share) due to strong travel demand in 4Q. Passenger revenue per seat flown in a mile (PRASM) rose modestly to 0.2%, but fuel costs were up 20% vs. 4Q16. For 2018, $UAL expects to increase capacity by 4-6% and to spend between $3.6-3.8Bil. The airline projects 2018 EPS to be between $6.50-8.50.
United Airlines unveiled its key operating metrics for Dec. 2017. $UAL's traffic increased 2.7% while capacity spiked 3.7% compared to Dec. 2016. However, passenger load factor shrank 0.8 points vs. last year. The company now expects fourth quarter 2017 passenger unit revenues to be about flat vs. 4Q16 due to better yields and demand.
United Airlines has appointed Kate Gebo as EVP of Human Resources and Labor Relations. Gebo who is currently looking after customer service is replacing Mike Bonds who has announced his retirement in Feb. 2017. Gebo comes with two decades of experience in airline industry working at $UAL's various departments.
United Airlines reported a 5.1% spike in traffic for Nov 2017 touching 17.02Bil, but passenger load factor remained flat at 81.8%. On a YTD basis, load factor reduced 50 bps as capacity additions exceeded traffic growth. For 4Q, $UAL has raised the guidance for passenger unit revenue (PRASM) from a 1-3% decline to a fall of 2% to flat YoY.
Lower load factor and withering PRASM plague the fleet-heavy United as the US airline industry enters the year-end quarter. Though American, Delta and Southwest reported huge number of flight cancellation during 3Q17 on the Hurricane impact, all held steady on their numbers with nominal losses. $AAL $DAL $UAL $LUV $ALK
Talking about 2018 margins and competitive environment, $UAL's CEO Oscar replied, "We have dug ourselves historically in a little bit of a competitive hole as a company. And in order to get ourselves out of it, we have to do something a little bit extraordinary than others." He also added that they are still working on the 2018 outlook.
$UAL expects it 4Q passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) to be down 1-3%. The company also added that the off peak period between thanksgiving and Christmas would be the lowest revenue per available seat mile (RASM) period of the year. On the flip side, $DAL expects its 4Q PRASM to increase 2-4%.
Hurricane Harvey played spoilsport in $UAL's 3Q17 results. The firm cancelled nearly 8,300 flights, which impacted 3Q17 pre-tax income by approx. $185MM. Last month, $UAL said it would incur $400MM in loss due to Hurricane Harvey and subsequently reduced its 3Q revenue outlook. The airline operates a hub out of George Bush Intercontinental Airport.
$UAL's 3Q profit was down 34% due to hurricane disruptions. YoY, passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) slipped 3.7%, whereas cost per available seat mile (CASM) up 3% due to higher fuel and labor expenses. On the flip side, 3Q17 was the best ever third quarter on-time departures in its history where employees took home $11MM as bonus.
$UAL reported traffic for the month of August 2017 of 20.4Bil revenue passenger miles, up 2.3% from last year. Capacity increased 2.4% to 23.9Bil available seat miles. However, passenger load factor slid 0.2 points to 85.3% from 85.5%. Cargo revenue ton miles grew 17.3% to 270.47MM and onboard passengers rose 2.1% to 13.46MM.
$UAL reported that it is progressing on the Latin American partnerships. Earlier in Jan., United said that it was working with Avianca Holdings and Avianca Brasil to enhance and deepen commercial and strategic ties, without mentioning terms. $UAL added that it hopes to announce something in this regard in the near future.
For 2017, $UAL lifted its CapEx guidance to $4.6-4.8Bil, up $400MM at the midpoint than the prior guidance. This increase was due to higher non-aircraft CapEx, more free delivery deposits and used aircraft transaction. Also, $UAL plans to invest $200-300MM more than forecasted earlier this year in IT, ground service equipment and facilities.
$UAL, which was in news for dragging down a passenger from a packed flight in April, implemented the majority of ten changes announced at the end of April. The airlines reduced the amount of overbooking, and it saw a 79% decrease in involuntary denied boardings in May YoY and an 88% decrease in June YoY.
For 3Q17, $UAL expects its consolidated passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) to be between 12.51 and 12.77 cents, representing down 1% to up 1%. Cargo and other revenue is estimated to be $1.295-1.395Bil. Third quarter capacity is set to be around 4% in 3Q17. The capacity is targeted between 2.5% and 3.5% for FY17.