April 16, 2019 / 8:17 PM / 8 days ago

United Airlines beats first-quarter profit estimate, holds 2019 target

April 16 (Reuters) - United Airlines on Tuesday reported a greater-than-expected increase in first-quarter profit as it sold more tickets and cut costs, standing by its 2019 profit target even after the U.S. government shutdown and severe winter weather earlier this year curtailed flights, aggravated by the ongoing grounding of its Boeing Co 737 MAX jets.

The airline's parent, United Continental Holdings Inc , said adjusted earnings per share rose to $1.15 in the first quarter, ending March 31, from 49 cents a year earlier. Analysts on average had forecast 95 cents per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. (Reporting by Tracy Rucinski in Chicago and Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru Editing by Bill Rigby)

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