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United Continental earnings: 41 cents per share, vs expected EPS of 38 cents

  • EPS: 41 cents, versus 38 cents expected by Thomson Reuters analysts' consensus
  • Revenue: $8.42 billion, versus $8.38 billion expected by Thomson Reuters

Despite beating first-quarter earnings expectations, United Continental didn't take a moment for a victory lap.

Instead, CEO Oscar Munoz used the release of its results as another occasion to apologize for recent events that have sparked a public relations nightmare for the company.

"It is obvious from recent experiences that we need to do a much better job serving our customers," Munoz said in a press release.

The airline operator has been at the center of a scandal that took place after the quarter ended.

Video of Dr. David Dao being dragged off an overbooked flight in Chicago sparked outrage, prompting an apology from Munoz. Dao's attorney said his client will probably pursue a lawsuit.

"This will prove to be a watershed moment for our company, and we are more determined than ever to put our customers at the center of everything we do. We are dedicated to setting the standard for customer service among U.S. airlines, as we elevate the experience our customers have with us from booking to baggage claim," Munoz said.

United beat on its first-quarter earnings after the market close Monday.

United posted earnings of 41 cents per share on revenue of $8.42 billion. Analysts had projected earnings of 38 cents per share on revenue of $8.38 billion, according to Thomson Reuters consensus estimates.

Shares of United were slightly higher in after-hours trading on Monday.

United Airlines President Scott Kirby said that the company expects consolidated passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM), a key metric, to be up between 1 and 3 percent for the second quarter.

First-quarter traffic, or revenue passenger miles, rose 2.2 percent, while first-quarter capacity, or available seat miles, were up 2.6 percent. The company reported that load factor was 79.6 percent.

As of Monday afternoon, shares of United have fallen more than 3 percent so far this year.

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Watch: United beats, stock takes off