United Airlines (UAL) reports third-quarter earnings after the close on Tuesday, with results for American Airlines (AAL) and Southwest Airlines (LUV) due on Wednesday. Airline stocks fell.
The carriers report results after Delta Air Lines (DAL) last week put up its first round of positive earnings per share in the pandemic era, on a rebound in travel demand. But it warned on rising fuel costs. The airline industry also faces questions about its ability to attract and retain talent.
United Airlines Earnings
Estimates: Wall Street expects United Airlines to lose $1.58 per share, according to FactSet. Analysts see revenue of $7.64 billion, a 207% gain from last year but still down 33% from 2019.
Results: Due after the close on Tuesday.
United reports just days after the U.S. said it would remove restrictions for vaccinated travelers from abroad on Nov. 8. Cowen airlines stocks analyst Helane Becker said in a note earlier this month that United was her top pick for international exposure.
The carrier this month also said it was planning its largest domestic flight schedule since March of last year, when coronavirus restrictions in the U.S. first started. The carrier said it was expanding its flight coverage to meet increasing holiday-travel demand.
United Airlines stock fell 1.8% in the stock market today. Shares have lost support at their 50-day line. The stock has a 34 Composite Rating and a 16 EPS Rating.
Southwest Airlines Earnings
Estimates: Wall Street expects Southwest to lose 27 cents per share. The Street expected revenue of $4.58 billion, up 156% from a year ago but down from 2019.
Results: Due Wednesday.
Southwest Airlines earlier this month had to cancel more than 2,000 flights. The airline attributed the issue to the effects of bad weather and “air traffic constraints” that hamstrung flights in Florida, where Southwest does a lot of business.
Those effects, it said, rippled through its network, leaving crew and jets stuck in places they weren’t supposed to be. Southwest’s pilots union, however, blamed the disruptions on poor management.
Both the company and the union said the cancellations weren’t a result of any employee actions, after speculation over resistance to Southwest’s recent vaccine mandate for staff.
Southwest stock slipped 0.5% on Tuesday. Like other airline stocks, Southwest’s ratings are weak. The stock has a 35 Composite Rating and a 19 EPS Rating.
American Airlines Earnings
Estimates: Wall Street expects American Airlines to lose $1.06 per share, with revenue up 179% from a year ago to $8.85 billion.
Results: Due Wednesday.
American Airlines stock lost 1.4% on Tuesday. The stock has a 44 Composite Rating and a 26 EPS Rating.
Airline stocks this summer were under pressure due to the rise of the delta variant of the coronavirus. Business travel has recovered more slowly than leisure travel, amid delays in office reopenings.
Cowen also noted that jet-fuel prices have spiked from last year and could increase more as the global economy recovers from the pandemic. Airlines will also likely have to pay more to attract and keep staff, following what Cowen called a “brain drain” on the industry after thousands of employees left it last year.
Still, the airlines are banking on a strong holiday season, after lockdowns last year kept many people at home.
“People might have been willing to give up one holiday season with loved ones, but they won’t give up two,” Becker wrote.
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