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United reports $1.2 billion second quarter profit

A United Airlines plane, front, is pushed back from the gate at George Bush Intercontinental Airport. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
A United Airlines plane, front, is pushed back from the gate at George Bush Intercontinental Airport. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) AP

United Airlines reported a second quarter profit of $1.2 billion even though its revenues dropped 4 percent.

The Chicago-based airline said revenues were $9.9 billion, down from $10.3 billion in the same quarter last year as its planes were not as full. United increased its capacity by 2.3 percent in the quarter but its load factor dropped 1.4 percentage points to 83.9 percent.

However, United benefited from lower jet fuel costs as the airline paid 30 percent less, or $915 million, for fuel in the quarter.

“This quarter’s record results reflect the progress we’re making on our long-term plan,” said United chief executive Jeff Smisek.

The company also announced a $3 billion share repurchase plan that it expects to complete by the end of 2017.

Excluding one-time accounting items, United said its profits were $1.3 billion, or $3.31 per share, matching Wall Street analysts’ estimates.

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