United Airlines Holdings Inc. stock fell more than 7% in the extended session Monday after the airline surprised Wall Street by guiding for a loss in its first quarter, saying it saw lower-than-expected demand in January and February and continued to feel the pinch of high fuel prices.
United UAL, -4.20% said it expects a quarterly loss between 60 cents a share and $1 a share, which contrasts with FactSet consensus for an adjusted profit of 64 cents a share in the quarter.
The airline said it was “observing new seasonal demand patterns, with lower-demand months such as January and February 2023 growing less than higher-demand months,” and as a result it expects a key metric, total revenue per available seat mile, to rise less in the first quarter than it initially thought.
Moreover, oil prices and fuel spreads “have remained elevated,” United said. The company expects a first-quarter average fuel price per gallon of between $3.31 and $3.41.
United kept its full-year adjusted diluted earnings a share of $10 to $12.
Severe weather has disrupted flights this winter, with a February storm leading to thousands of flights being canceled or delayed as it blanketed two-thirds of the U.S. in snow and ice.
Shares of United ended the regular trading day down 4.2%. The stock has gained 40% in the past 12 months, contrasting with losses of around 8% for the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.15%. The U.S. Global JETS ETF JETS, -3.71% has risen 1.4% in the same period.
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