United Continental Holdings Third Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

United Continental Holdings Inc (NYSE:UAL) will unveil its latest earnings tomorrow, Thursday, January 24, 2013. United Continental Holdings engages in the provision of passenger and cargo air transportation services.

United Continental Holdings Inc Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for net loss of 54 cents per share, up from net income of 30 cents in the year-earlier quarter. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from 23 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It also has dropped from a loss of 26 cents during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 53.9% compared to last year’s $1.61.

Past Earnings Performance: Last quarter, the company missed estimates by 10 cents, coming in at profit of $1.35 per share against an estimate of net income of. In the first quarter, the company also missed expectations.

Start 2013 better than ever by saving time and making money with your Limited Time Offer for our highly-acclaimed Stock Picker Newsletter. Click here for our fresh Feature Stock Pick now!

A Look Back: In the second quarter, profit fell 37% to $339 million (89 cents a share) from $538 million ($1.39 a share) the year earlier, missing analyst expectations. Revenue rose 1.3% to $9.94 billion from $9.81 billion.

Here’s how United Continental Holdings traded following its last earnings report 3 months ago and leading up to its upcoming earnings report this week:

UAL

Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a decline of 2.4% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $8.72 billion.

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

Key Stats:

On the top line, the company is looking to build on four-straight revenue increases heading into this earnings announcement. Revenue rose 88.6% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year, 5.9% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year and 4.9% in the first quarter before increasing again in the second quarter.

Heading into this earnings season, the company is looking to build on good signs from last quarter. The company reported losses in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year and the first quarter, but finished in the black with income of $339 million in the second.

Balance Sheet Analysis: The company’s current ratio of assets to liabilities came in at 0.88 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 0.9 in the first quarter to the last quarter driven in part by an increase in liabilities. Current liabilities increased 6.6% to $13.31 billion while assets rose 4% to $11.71 billion.

Stocks with improving earnings metrics are worthy of your extra attention. In fact, “E = Earnings Are Increasing Quarter-Over-Quarter” is a core component of our CHEAT SHEET investing framework for this very reason. Don’t waste another minute — click here and get our CHEAT SHEET stock picks now.

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