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United Continental Holdings shares plummet after first quarter earnings

The incident involving a forcible ejection of a passenger has overshadowed
United Continental Holdings shares plummet after first quarter earnings
A United Airlines plane

Much in the public  glare airline firm United Continental Holdings Inc (NYSE:UAL) saw shares plunge 4% lower on Tuesday afternoon as reports emerged of a post earnings-report conference call.

Yesterday, after the bell the parent company of United Airlines, posted first quarter net income of $96 million, or 31 cents a share, down from $313 million, or 88 cents, in the same period last year .First-quarter revenue flew in at $8.4 billion, up 2.7%.

But excluding special items,United earned 41 cents a share, beating the 38 cents forecast  by analysts.

But this has all been overshadowed by last week's PR disaster from the group following an incident in Chicago.

David Dao, a 69-year-old American doctor, was dragged from his seat by airline police officials at O’Hare international airport on Sunday after refusing to leave.

Videos of Dao screaming and bleeding from his mouth went  viral and the company attracted much attention and criticism.

Chief executive Oscar Munoz issued a statement apologising, saying “no one should ever be mistreated this way”.

Today, finance chief Andrew Levy reportedly said in a conference call that the carrier's corporate customers have expressed concern over the incident.

"They want us to fix this. They want us to do the right thing," Levy said, according to a transcript of the call provided by FactSet.

Munoz  plans to communicate on April 30 the results of a review and actions to be taken in response to last week's event.

Shares in UAL lost 4% today to $67.94.

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United Continental Holdings Timeline

January 26 2012

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