United Continental Holdings Beats Up on Analysts Yet Again

United Continental Holdings (NYSE: UAL  ) reported earnings on April 26. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended March 31 (Q1), United Continental Holdings met expectations on revenues and exceeded expectations on earnings per share.

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue expanded and GAAP loss per share expanded.

Margins contracted across the board.

Revenue details
United Continental Holdings tallied revenue of $8.60 billion. The 11 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ expected a top line of $8.58 billion on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 4.9% higher than the prior-year quarter's $8.20 billion.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

EPS details
EPS came in at -$0.87. The 12 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ anticipated -$1.06 per share. GAAP EPS were -$1.36 for Q1 versus -$0.65 per share for the prior-year quarter.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

Margin details
For the quarter, gross margin was 20.1%, 410 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was -1.2%, 260 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was -5.2%, 260 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $10.07 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $1.76.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $38.50 billion. The average EPS estimate is $3.40.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a one-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 384 members out of 797 rating the stock outperform, and 413 members rating it underperform. Among 193 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 78 give United Continental Holdings a green thumbs-up, and 115 give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on United Continental Holdings is outperform, with an average price target of $31.57.

Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor of Motley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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