UPDATE 2-United Airlines parent posts smaller loss, shrs up

* Q4 loss excl items $1.05/shr vs. estimate loss $1.47

* Revenue trends improve from Q3

* Shares up more than 3 percent
(Adds estimate comparison, CFO comment)

ATLANTA, Jan 27 (BestGrowthStock) – United Airlines parent UAL Corp
(UAUA.O: ) posted a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss as it
cut costs to cope with declining travel demand and said revenue
trends continued to improve, sending its shares up more than 3
percent.

The carrier said on Wednesday its fourth-quarter net loss
narrowed to $240 million, or $1.44 per share, from $1.32
billion, or $10 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding hedge gains and accounting charges, UAL said its
quarterly loss was $176 million, or $1.05 a share. On that
basis, analysts expected a loss of $1.47 a share, according to
Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Operating revenue fell 8 percent to $4.19 billion, compared
with $4.09 billion expected by analysts, according to Thomson
Reuters I/B/E/S.

The airline industry was hit in 2009 by falling demand for
business travel as companies cut travel costs during the
recession.

UAL said consolidated passenger revenue per available seat
mile, a key airline measure, fell 5.2 percent in the fourth
quarter, an improvement over the third quarter’s 14.7 percent
drop.

“While we certainly have a ways to go before we see a full
recovery, the steps we have taken over the last year, combined
with improving revenue trends, position us well to improve our
margins and put us well on the road to closing the
profitability gap,” UAL Chief Financial Officer Kathryn Mikells
said in a memo to staff.

The cash balance at quarter’s end came to $3.4 billion,
including unrestricted cash of more than $3 billion.

Shares of UAL were up 3.3 percent to $13.21 in trading
before the market opened.

Stock Market Report

(Reporting by Karen Jacobs and Kyle Peterson; Editing by Lisa
Von Ahn, Dave Zimmerman)

UPDATE 2-United Airlines parent posts smaller loss, shrs up