United Continental Holdings, Inc. (UAL): Does This Move Make Any Sense At All ?

United Continental Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:UAL) is on our radar right now but there could still be some opportunities on the horizon. Now trading with a market value of 19.77B, the company has a mix of catalysts and obstacles that spring from the nature of its operations. In light of the many issues surrounding this company, we thought it was a good time to take a close look at the numbers in order to form a realistic perspective on the fundamental picture for this stock.

United Continental Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:UAL) Fundamentals That Matter

It’s generally a good idea to start with the most fundamental piece of the picture: the balance sheet. The balance sheet health of any company plays a key role in its ability to meet its obligations and maintain the faith of its investment base. The trend over time is important to note. In this case, the company’s debt has been growing.

United Continental Holdings, Inc. (UAL) saw -370 million in free cash flow last quarter. Perhaps most importantly where cash movements are concerned, the company saw about 728 million in net operating cash flow.

United Continental Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:UAL) Revenue Growth Potential

As far as key trends that demonstrate something of the future investment potential of this stock, we need to take a closer look at the top line, first and foremost. Last quarter, the company saw 9.44 billion in total revenues. That represents a quarterly year/year change in revenues of 0.04 in sequential terms, the UAL saw sales decline by -0.04.

But what about the bottom line? After all, that’s what really matters in the end. United Continental Holdings, Inc. (UAL) is intriguing when broken down to its core data. The cost of selling goods last quarter was 6.89 billion, yielding a gross basic income of 2.55 billion. For shareholders, given the total diluted outstanding shares of 291.8 million, this means overall earnings per share of 1.99. Note, this compares with a consensus analyst forecast of 0.1 in earnings per share for its next fiscal quarterly report.

Is United Continental Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:UAL) Valuation Attractive

Looking ahead at valuations, according to the consensus, the next fiscal year is forecast to bring about 8.24 in total earnings per share. If we consider a median price to earnings ratio on the stock, that corresponds with a stock price of 7.30. However, one should always remember: the trends are more important than the forecasts. This continues to be an interesting story, and we look forward to updating it again soon on United Continental Holdings, Inc..

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