• Joe Breitfeller

United Airlines Reports Net Income of $641M for Fourth Quarter, $3B for Full Year 2019

Updated: Jan 22, 2020

United Airlines announced Tuesday that they have reached their 2020 adjusted earnings per share target a year ahead of schedule. The company set an EPS target of between $11 and $13 in 2018 and reported a full year diluted EPS of $11.58 for 2019.

United Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner - Courtesy United Airlines

Today, United Airlines announced a fourth quarter net income of $641M, diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $2.53. For the full year, the airline reported a net income of $3B or a diluted EPS of $11.58. The full year EPS achieved the company’s target set in 2018 to achieve an annual EPS between $11-$13 by 2020 a year early. Q4 EPS was up 50 percent year-over Year (YoY), while pre-tax margin expanded by 2.5 percent to 7.8 percent versus Q4 2018. The full year diluted EPS was up 51 percent YoY, while full year pre-tax margin expanded by 2.6 percent to 9 percent compared to 2018. Fourth quarter passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) increased 0.8 percent YoY and cost per available seat mile (CASM) decreased 1.3 percent, while CASM-ex (CASM excluding special charges, third party business expenses, fuel and profit-sharing) increased 2.7 percent during Q4. For the full year, CASM decreased by 1.3 percent, while CASM-ex increased 1 percent. During Q4, United Airlines repurchased $219M worth of common shares at an average of $88.95, bringing full year share repurchases to $1.6B. In Tuesday’s announcement, United Airlines’ CEO, Oscar Munoz said,

“2019 was a great year for our United team – highlighted by achieving our $11 to $13 adjusted EPS target a full year ahead of schedule. With a four-quarter streak of expanding profit margins, when all the results are in, we expect our full year 2019 pre-tax margin growth to be the highest amongst our largest competitors. When I look at United’s fundamental strength, I could not be prouder of what we’ve accomplished in such a short time. This is the New United we set out to build more than four years ago. As we embark on a new year and decade, I believe the outlook for United’s future has never been brighter.”

During 2019, United Airlines flew the most revenue passengers in the company’s history and recorded a record 800K mainline departures. On average, the company also delivered a 45% increase in profit-sharing for participating team members. United also launched DIRECTV on 211 Boeing 737s and introduced three inflight snack options on domestic flights, regardless of departure time. During 2019, the carrier opened their fifth United Polaris® Lounge and announced the addition of 1,600 United First and Polaris Business Class seats systemwide. United also launched three new United Clubs at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, LaGuardia Airport and Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

Over the last year, United Airlines launched 11 new international routes and announced nine more for 2020. Additionally, the carrier launched 69 new domestic routes and announced the addition of 15 new routes for 2020. United expanded their fleet with 49 new aircraft in 2019, including eight Boeing 787-10s, becoming the first airline on the world to operate all three Dreamliner models. The company also ordered 50 Airbus A321 XLRs, 20 used Boeing 737-700s and 20 Embraer E175s (operated by regional partners).

Source: United Airlines


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