United Turns Record Quarterly Profit
What’s a good barometer of how well the airlines are doing these days? Put it this way: barely 15 months ago, United was the only domestic carrier that didn’t turn a profit in the first quarter of 2014.
That’s a distant memory now.
United this morning reported second-quarter 2015 net income of $1.3 billion, or $3.31 per diluted share, excluding $67 million of special items. Including special items, UAL reported second-quarter net income of $1.2 billion, or $3.14 per diluted share.
Either way, it’s a record quarterly profit for the company.
As a result, United’s board of directors authorized an additional $3 billion share repurchase program, which the company expects to complete by the end of 2017.
"This quarter's record results reflect the progress we're making on our long-term plan, and I'd like to thank the United team for their great work," Jeff Smisek, UAL's chairman, president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. "The $3 billion share repurchase program we announced today demonstrates the confidence we have in our future. We will continue to invest in our customers, assets and our people, and remain committed to improving our balance sheet, expanding our margins and improving our return on invested capital, and expect our third quarter pre-tax margin to be between 13.5 and 15.5 percent, excluding special items."
In the second quarter, UAL prepaid approximately $800 million of debt, contributed approximately $620 million to its pension plans and returned approximately $250 million to shareholders as part of its existing $1 billion share buyback program.
More by Rich Thomaselli
Get Travel Deals and Travel News
Recent Travel Opinions
Airlines & Airports
Features & Advice
Destination & Tourism