Last updated: 11:07 AM ET, Thu October 22 2015

Leadership Changes, Other Issues Catch Up With United

Airlines & Airports | Rich Thomaselli | October 22, 2015

Leadership Changes, Other Issues Catch Up With United

Shares of United Continental Holdings, parent company of United Airlines, dipped slightly this morning after third-quarter earnings fell just short of analyst expectations.

But the share price moved back up after initially dropping three percent before the opening bell, when the company announced its earnings, a signal that investors believe the airline can weather this difficult stretch.

As of 11 a.m., the stock was trading at $55.08, up two percent over Wednesday’s close.

United reported third-quarter net income of $1.7 billion, or $4.53 per diluted share, excluding special items. Consensus analyst projections were for the stock to come in at $4.55 per diluted share.

The $1.7 billion profit was on reported revenue of $10.3 billion, which was down from $10.6 billion from the same quarter a year ago.

United is going through troubling times as the subject of a federal probe into corruption, customer service issues, labor problems, and three CEOs in less than two months.

"I want to thank all of our employees for their hard work, professionalism and contributions to another successful quarter. The United family has had a challenging few weeks, but we have never felt more unified and are committed to making the right investments in our people and providing them the tools they need to deliver excellent service to our customers," Brett Hart, acting CEO of United, said in a statement. Hart was named to the post last week when Oscar Munoz, who took over when Jeff Smisek was ousted, suffered a heart attack. "With Oscar Munoz on medical leave, this leadership team and I are working to push forward the agenda we laid out over the past six weeks by focusing on our employees, improving our processes and investing in our systems to further improve our margins."


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