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United (UAL) profits Q4 2020

A Boeing 787 Dreamliner operated by United Airlines took off from Los Angeles International Airport.

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United Airlines on Wednesday reported a loss for the fourth quarter and warned that sales will continue to suffer in early 2021 as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

Here’s how United performed during the quarter, compared to Wall Street̵

7;s expectations, based on average scores compiled by Refinitiv:

  • Adjusted earnings per share: a loss of $ 7 versus an expected loss of $ 6.60 per share.
  • Revenue: $ 3.41 billion versus expected revenue of $ 3.44 billion.

United’s fourth-quarter revenue fell 69 percent from a year earlier to $ 3.41 billion, below analysts’ estimates of $ 3.44 billion. Its net loss of $ 1.9 billion in the quarter compared to a profit of $ 641 million a year earlier.

The Chicago-based airline reported an adjusted loss of $ 7 per share, compared to forecasts of a loss of $ 6.60 per share. It burned about $ 33 million a day on average for the quarter, including debt and benefits.

The carrier does not expect a quick turnaround earlier this year. Revenues in the first quarter are likely to come 65% to 70% below 2019 levels, the airline said. Capacity for the first quarter is expected to decline by at least 51% over the same period in 2019, reflecting a similar outlook from American Airlines.

United shares fell 1.5% in early trading after the report.

Airline executives said widespread coronavirus vaccines would fuel the recovery of air travel. But the spread of the vaccine is slow and chaotic, marked by a shortage of doses.

UK governors will hold a call to discuss their revenue and prospects at 10:30 a.m. ET on Thursday.

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