What happened

Shares of American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) jumped on Wednesday. While there was no company-specific news, a solid quarterly report from United Continental Holdings (NASDAQ:UAL) seems to have lit a fire under both stocks. This comes one week after both companies boosted their revenue forecasts for the first quarter. American Airlines stock was up about 4.4% at market close, while United Airlines stock had locked in a 4.8% gain.

So what

United reported first-quarter revenue of $9.03 billion, up 7.2% year over year and $30 million higher than the average analyst estimate. Adjusted net income came in at $0.50 per share, up from $0.42 per share in the prior-year period and $0.01 per share ahead of analyst expectations.

An American Airlines Boeing 737

Image source: American Airlines.

United also provided full-year guidance that was favorable relative to the average analyst estimate. The company expects adjusted earnings per share of between $7.00 and $8.50, compared to a $7.67 consensus estimate.

United's strong results and guidance were enough to convince investors that other airline stocks should be bid higher as well.

Now what

American Airlines is scheduled to report its own first-quarter results before the market opens on April 26. Analysts expect the company to report revenue of $10.42 billion, up 8.2% year over year, along with earnings of $0.72 per share. That's up from earnings of $0.61 per share during the first quarter of 2017.

Whether American Airlines stock can hold onto Wednesday's gains will depend on how its own results compare to expectations next week.

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