United Airlines 'Soars'

United Continental's improved outlook for revenue lifts airline stocks.
4:10 | 07/10/14

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Transcript for United Airlines 'Soars'
I'm Michelle Franzen in. This Wall Street closes shop on Thursday July 10 this -- story stuck. Today a bright spot for the airline industry has United Continental Holdings otherwise known as United Airlines posted some better than expected revenue numbers. Like cent toll of Yahoo! finance -- out crunched the numbers in the there -- we're about to learn a new term. Passenger revenue per available seat mile when that happened. How did -- well you know that I hope you know -- There's real -- -- he had it's basically the unit. Of the product that airlines sell if you think about it it's basically space on a plane going a certain distance. And that's how they kind of gauge exactly how strong demand wasn't how strong pricing was. For what they're selling which is hot spots on flights. And it turns out for United Continental it was actually an upside surprise of 3.5 percent. In this latest period it was expected to be -- more around 3% or even a little bit lower than that and that really did not come as a pleasant surprise to Wall Street which had been kind of wondering. If this sort of resurgence of the US airline industry which was in force for a couple of years. May -- had been stalling out a little bit seems like not right now space on a plane like movies books it's not perfect let's look at how investors reacted to the news with that today's stock chart. -- Yeah see this one jumped that -- the report was late yesterday so basically right at the open despite the fact that the overall market. Really took a dive. Overnight and into the morning today. It was up and -- you could see it right there are pretty nice looking short term chart right there though the overall market did come back but is still negative. And so by the fact that United Continental on the rest of the airline group. Has been knocked to the upside obviously shows that investors are are funny some genuine strength -- -- -- -- trade. -- that's right you mentioned united wasn't alone in reporting better revenues. Are available seat miles southwest also American Airlines. So so month airline stocks were suddenly in the spotlight today did any of them not go up. You know they pretty much for all up in the in terms of the US carriers now in Europe it was a different story European markets were rough overnight some of those big guys like -- -- they suffered southwest was not up quite as much it was only up just marginally so what's a little bit of a different animal vs the other majors as they're called the real big integrated flight American and united and delta. But they all wore pretty much to the upside even though the overall tape was -- that. You know and roughly the past twelve years it's been the shrinking skies restatement ten major US airlines -- down. To become four but has that neither of us safer investment. While they -- We are safer in the sense that they don't seem to be destined for serial bankruptcies the way they weren't you in cycles past. So essentially the the fact that the authorities allowed. The industry to sort of consolidate up into the big four. It does make them more financially secure they've wiped away a lot of debt they've tried to get out of some of that the tougher union contracts are not fully successfully. Answer yes they're safer but still extremely volatile. You know right now it seems that the airlines have some pricing power. You and I know how unpleasant it is to fly because of the planes are so crowded and they're nailing you with -- all over the place so that's made things good financially for the airlines in the short term. But it seems like perpetually there's always an opening for a low cost carrier to come on get a few routes and -- to pack away. Some of the -- as a -- United Continental was considered to be kind of as big lumbering giant that wasn't really getting its act together even though -- did -- United and continental -- couple years ago they had a merger systems together and in places like Denver where they have a big job. The low cost carriers were really making it hurt for them. So it's not necessarily that's the case that it's all of a sudden industry does have to worry but it's -- prevent it used to be -- gas. And an ever changing field as it is like cent toll of Yahoo! finance with that we are up up and -- thank you for joining. -- watching a story stocks stay with abcnews.com. For your latest headlines I'm Michelle Franzen in Iraq.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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