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United Airlines beats on second-quarter revenue, returns to profitability

Yahoo Finance's Jared Blikre breaks down United Airlines' second-quarter earnings, which saw a revenue beat.

Video Transcript

SEANA SMITH: All right, we want to get to some earnings. United out with its report. You can see the reaction in shares off just about 2%. Jared Blikre has that for us. Jared.

JARED BLIKRE: That's right. Stock had been down more than 3% at the lows in afterhours trading. Second quarter results, operating revenue coming in at $12.11 billion. That's versus 5.47 billion one year ago, so nearly doubling that-- or actually doubling that. Estimate was for 12.1, so beat there. Breaking it down by segment, passenger revenue, 10.83 billion. That's a beat. And that is versus 4.37 billion last year. Cargo revenue, 574 million. Slight miss-- or actually, a fairly large miss, though, that is not part of their bigger revenue operations. Other revenue, 709 million. That is a beat.

The second quarter adjusted EPS number, that's coming in at $1.43. That is a big miss. The estimate was for $1.88. So that might explain some of the weakness that we're seeing in shares right now. And then here is the key metric, the key unit metric-- revenue passenger miles, 54.3 billion, up 90% year over year. And that beats just slightly the estimate of $5.02 billion.

And then we have average seat miles. Those are 62.61 billion. That's up 58% year over year. And the estimate was for higher at 63.16 billion. So to sum up, kind of a mixed report here. Basically a miss on the bottom line and a beat, a small beat on the top line here for United.

SEANA SMITH: And certainly, the stock under pressure, off just about 3 and 1/2%. And Dave, we were just talking with Andy. Just said the fact that demand is back, which is very, very good news for these airlines. But they're having trouble when it comes to staffing. They simply don't have the pilots that they need when we're facing the massive pilot shortage. They don't have the flight attendants, the man on the ground that they need in order to get these flights in the air. And they're also facing higher fuel costs, which is a huge headwind heading into the fall and eventually into the holiday season.

DAVE BRIGGS: And because of that, United cut, I think, 25 smaller cities from their routes because of the high fuel charge. And look, yeah, it's a three pronged issue for them. And it the high fuel charges. It is the employment shortage. And to your point, the pilots gets the most attention. But there is an employment shortage across the board at the big airlines. And then the other one is the obvious-- flight cancellations and lost luggage. They are under siege right now.

And taking it back to what Ro Khanna said, you can't help but wonder why there's not more accountability for the billions of dollars that they did receive in bailout money and what they did with it. They let so many people go and having a really hard time getting them back. So a difficult road ahead for United if they can maintain the demand once all those pre-booked tickets wear off. Will people travel into the holidays as much as they normally do? They were certainly benefiting from revenge travel, as we've seen.