United Airlines profit rises with higher fares

FILE PHOTO: A United Airlines plane takes off from Los Angeles International airport (LAX) in Los Angeles, California, U.S. March 28, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake

NEW YORK (Reuters) - United Airlines <UAL.N> said on Tuesday quarterly profit rose, as higher fares helped offset the costs of fuel and a rash of winter storms.

The third-largest U.S. airline by passenger traffic reported first-quarter net income of $147 million, or 52 cents per share, compared with $99 million, or 32 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.

Excluding some one-time items, it reported earnings of 50 cents per share. That beat Wall Street's average estimate of 43 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Operating revenue rose to $9 billion from $8.4 billion a year ago, meeting analysts' estimates.

The Chicago-based carrier adjusted its plans for capacity growth for the year, aiming for a rate of between 4.5 percent and 5.5 percent. Its previous expected range was between 4 percent and 6 percent.

Last quarter United sent airline industry shares lower by sparking concerns about fare wars with its aggressive capacity expansion plans.

For the second quarter, United said it would increase the number of seats it flies by between 4 percent and 5 percent.


(Reporting by Alana Wise; Editing by Bill Rigby)