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United Air tops profit estimates, expects unit revenue drop

Oct 17 United Continental Holdings Inc on Monday reported a third-quarter profit that topped analysts' estimates and forecast that a closely watched revenue measure would continue to drop in the fourth quarter.

The No. 3 U.S. airline by passenger traffic earned $965 million in the third quarter, the company said. Excluding one-time charges, profit fell 41 percent to $997 million, or $3.11 per share, partly due to higher wages for flight attendants. Analysts on average had estimated earnings of $3.06 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

United said it expected passenger unit revenue, which compares sales to how many seats the airline flies and how far it flies them, to decline between 4 percent and 6 percent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier. (Reporting by Jeffrey Dastin in New York; Editing by Richard Chang)

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