United Continental returns to profit

United Continental Holdings (UAL), the parent company of United and Continental airlines, reported second-quarter net income of $577 million on Thursday, rebounding from last quarter's loss. UAL, which was formed last year by the merger of United and Continental and will be the world's largest airline once the merger is complete, earned $1.49 per share, slightly beating analysts' expectations of $1.47 per share. The company suffered a loss of more than $200 million in the first quarter of 2011, a large part of which was due to integration costs. "Thanks to the hard work of my coworkers, who managed through tough weather issues and many integration changes during the quarter, we are making steady progress toward building the world's leading airline," chief executive Jeff Smisek said in a statement. UAL shares gained 2.9 percent in the first half-hour of trading on the New York Stock Exchange after the earnings report was released. Notably, the company said its second-quarter consolidated fuel expenses had surged by 45.2 percent, or $1.1 billion, compared to one year ago, reflecting the sharp increase in oil prices over the past year. (c) 2011 AFP
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Source: AFP
Date: Jul 21, 2011