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Outcome: United Airways: restoration resulting from Delta variant "delayed", however now again on observe

United Airlines Holdings Inc. surprised investors late Tuesday with better-than-expected results, citing a rebound in premium vacation travel, the "continuous recovery" of business travel and the easing of travel restrictions in some of their international destinations.

United
UAL,
-2.01%
said it made $ 473 million, or $ 1.44 per share, for the quarter, reversing a loss of $ 1.8 billion, or $ 6.33 per share, in the third quarter of 2020. After adjusting for one-time items, the company lost $ 1.02 per share for the quarter.

Revenue rose to $ 7.8 billion from $ 2.5 billion a year ago. That compared to revenue of $ 11.4 billion in the third quarter of 2019.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected United to report an adjusted loss of $ 1.58 per share on revenue of $ 7.64 billion for the quarter.

"The recovery has been delayed by the Delta option, but the United team continues to focus on our long-term vision – and not be distracted by short-term volatility," Chief Executive Scott Kirby said in a statement.

"With the return of business travel and the planned reopening of Europe and the early signs of opening in the Pacific, headwinds are turning into tailwinds," he said.

The stock rose more than 2% in the extended session after exiting the regular session and falling 2%.

United plans to increase international capacity by 10% over the next year, while domestic capacity will remain unchanged. An airline's capacity, or number of available seats, on its routes decreased 28% in the quarter compared to the third quarter of 2019. The company expects to increase capacity in the fourth quarter compared to the same quarter in. will decrease by 23% in 2019.

See also: Goldman Sachs slashes American and JetBlue ratings, but says it's still "positive" for airlines

Delta Air Lines Inc.
DAL,
-1.37%
posted its first adjusted pandemic profit last week, but the stock fell as investors worried about rising fuel, wages and maintenance costs and uncertainty swirled around the year-end travel season.

Related: No, it wasn't a pilot sickout: Here's what was really behind Southwest's recent flight disruptions

United stocks are up 7% so far this year, compared to gains of around 20% for the S&P 500 Index
SPX,
+ 0.74%
and 3.5% for the US Global Jets ETF
NOZZLES,
-1.07%.

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