United Continental Holdings Second Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

United Continental Holdings Inc (NYSE:UAL) will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, July 26, 2012.

United Continental Holdings Inc Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average analyst estimate is for profit of $1.70 per share, a rise of 14.1% from the company’s actual earnings for the year-ago quarter. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from $1.89. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It has risen from $1.62 during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 29.8% compared to last year’s $4.53.

Past Earnings Performance: The company is looking to top estimates for the third straight quarter. Last quarter, it reported a loss of 87 cents per share against a mean estimate of net loss of $1.11, and the quarter before, the company exceeded forecasts by 16 cents with net income of 30 cents versus a mean estimate of profit of 14 cents.

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A Look Back: In the first quarter, the company’s loss widened to a loss of a $448 million ($1.36 a share) from a loss of $213 million (65 cents) a year earlier, but beat analyst expectations. Revenue rose 4.9% to $8.6 billion from $8.2 billion.

Stock Price Performance: Between July 16, 2012 and July 20, 2012, the stock price dropped $2.68 (-11.1%), from $24.23 to $21.55. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between November 23, 2011 and December 7, 2011, when shares rose for 10 straight days, increasing 33.2% (+$5.16) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between February 16, 2012 and February 27, 2012 when shares fell for seven straight days, dropping 15.2% (-$3.61) over that span.

Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a rise of 3.5% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $10.04 billion.

Key Stats:

On the top line, the company is looking to build on four-straight revenue increases heading into this earnings announcement. Revenue rose 90.1% in the second quarter of the last fiscal year, 88.6% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year and 5.9% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year before increasing again in the first quarter.

Balance Sheet Analysis: The company’s current ratio of assets to liabilities came in at 0.9 last quarter. The current ratio is an indication of a firm’s liquidity and ability to meet creditor demands and generally, a ratio less than one could indicate a company may have difficulty meeting current obligations. The company regressed in this liquidity measure from 0.97 in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year to the last quarter driven in part by an increase in liabilities. Current liabilities increased 9.6% to $12.49 billion while assets rose 2.4% to $11.26 billion.

Analyst Ratings: With 10 analysts rating the stock a buy, none rating it a sell and two rating the stock a hold, there are indications of a bullish stance by analysts.

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(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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