United Continental Lowers Its Sights

airplaneIn a filing yesterday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, United Continental Holdings Inc. (NYSE: UAL) said it expects its consolidated available seat miles (ASMs) to drop by 4.2% in the fourth quarter, compared with the same period a year ago. The company attributes the decline to weather-related issues in the quarter, including the effects of Hurricane Sandy. For the full 2012 fiscal year, ASMs are expected to fall by 1.5%.

United expects passenger revenue per ASM to rise by 0.5% to 1.5% in the fourth quarter and by 1.7% to 1.9% for the full year. Unit costs, excluding fuel and other charges, are expected to rise 5.6% to 6.6%, compared with the fourth quarter of last year. For the full year, unit costs are expected to rise by 3.2% to 3.6%.

Fuel costs for the fourth quarter are estimated at $3.28 per gallon and for the full year at $3.27 a gallon.

Load factor - the number of seats filled - is up 6.4 points for the next six weeks on domestic mainline planes, compared with the same period a year ago. Load factor on the company's regional planes is up 6.6 points, while international bookings are up 4.1 points.

United Continental's shares are down 1.5% in premarket trading this morning, at $22.85 in a 52-week range of $17.25 to $25.84.

Paul Ausick

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Airlines Tagged: UAL
Read Full Story

Can't get enough business news?

Sign up for Finance Report by AOL and get everything from retailer news to the latest IPOs delivered directly to your inbox daily!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.