United announces highest quarterly profit

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JULY 24, 2015: United Airlines (UAL) reported second-quarter 2015 net income of $1.3 billion, or $3.31 per diluted share, excluding $67 million of special items. Including special items, UAL reported second-quarter net income of $1.2 billion, or $3.14 per diluted share. These results are a record quarterly profit for the company.

The company's board of directors authorized an additional $3 billion share repurchase program, which the company expects to complete by the end of 2017. In the quarter, UAL prepaid approximately $800 million of debt, contributed approximately $620 million to its pension plans and returned approximately $250 million to shareholders as part of its existing $1 billion share buyback program. UAL earned an 18.2 percent return on invested capital for the 12 months ended June 30, 2015.

"This quarter's record results reflect the progress we're making on our long-term plan, and I'd like to thank the United team for their great work," said Jeff Smisek, UAL's chairman, president and chief executive officer. "The $3 billion share repurchase program we announced demonstrates the confidence we have in our future. We will continue to invest in our customers, assets and our people, and remain committed to improving our balance sheet, expanding our margins and improving our return on invested capital, and expect our third quarter pre-tax margin to be between 13.5 and 15.5 percent, excluding special items."

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