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United Holds 4th Quarter 2023 Earnings Call

'Reliable, Consistent, Premium Service' Helps Brand Increase Standing

United Airlines reported its fourth-quarter and full-year 2023 financial results, showing increases in its premium and economy offerings.

The company said its "diversified revenue strategy proved, once again, to be a critical, differentiated, competitive advantage. United's premium cabin saw an increase in revenue of 16% for the quarter year-over-year, while its Basic Economy offering again saw a substantial revenue increase of 20% for the quarter year-over-year". That allowed them to bring in earnings of $7.89 per share, with adjusted full-year diluted earnings per share coming in at $10.05. That barely allowed it to reach its goal for 2023, which was a target of $10 to $12.

The carrier said it also "benefited from cost convergence across the industry", which brought about a stronger relationship between United's unit costs and unit revenue performance." It attributes that to more durable demand for travel while firing a surreptitious shot across Southwest Airlines' bow. Customers prefer, it said, "United's reliable operational performance and premium offerings" to much of the industry's more cost-conscious carriers.

"Our plans really came together in 2023, and I want to thank the United team for all of the hard work it took to get us there," said United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby. "Despite unpredictable headwinds, we delivered on our ambitious EPS target that few thought possible – and set new operational records for our customers," said United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby. "Looking ahead, we expect these trends to continue and United is incredibly well positioned to capitalize on them and to deliver on our short and long-term financial targets."

FMI: www.united.com


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