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Earnings roundup

Several companies, including a few with Utah connections, reported quarterly financial results on Monday.

UAL

Burdened by the heavy costs of reworking its airplane leases and contracts, United Airlines' parent company reported a record $1.77 billion loss for the third quarter to run its overall losses from nearly three years in bankruptcy to $9 billion.

UAL Corp., based in Elk Grove Village, Ill., maintained that the huge charges are normal for a company nearing the end of a bankruptcy overhaul and pointed to a $165 million operating profit as evidence its restructuring is paying off.

The net loss for the July-through-September period amounted to $15.26 per share and compared with a loss of $274 million, or $2.38 per share, a year earlier.

Operating revenues rose 8.1 percent to $4.7 billion from $4.3 billion.

Excluding the total of $1.8 billion in restructuring costs for the period, UAL said it would have had a net profit of $68 million. Operating earnings were $245 million better than the result from the third quarter of 2004. The company said it spent $405 million more on fuel in the fall quarter than a year earlier or the result would have been even better.

"We have largely completed United's restructuring work, and we are on schedule to emerge from Chapter 11 in early February as we have announced," CEO Glenn Tilton told employees in a recorded message.

Even so, it was the company's 21st consecutive quarter in the red, and the loss topped its previous record deficit of $1.47 billion for the fourth quarter of 2002, when it filed for bankruptcy.

The company's stock was unchanged Monday at 50 cents. During the past year, the price has ranged from 32 cents to $2.40.

Sysco

Sysco Corp., the largest food-service distributor in North America, said its profit fell 7.7 percent in the latest quarter, hurt by an accounting charge and higher transportation costs.

The Houston-based company said net income in the fiscal first quarter ended Oct. 1 fell to $208.5 million, or 33 cents a share. That's down from $225.9 million, or 35 cents a share, in the first quarter a year ago.

The latest quarter included a charge of 5 cents a share related to a change in accounting for stock-based compensation.

Sales rose 6.4 percent to $8.01 billion from $7.53 billion.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial had forecast, on average, earnings of 36 cents a share on sales of $7.98 billion.

Sysco's Intermountain Food Services Inc. operations are in West Jordan, with about 600 employees involved in distributing food to six states.

Shares of Sysco fell 35 cents, or 1.1 percent, to close Monday at $31.91 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Holly Energy

Dallas-based Holly Energy Partners LP reported third-quarter net income of $7.3 million, or 44 cents per share. That compares with $6 million, or 34 cents per share, for the year-ago quarter.

Wall Street's consensus estimate for the quarter was earnings of 47 cents per share.

Revenues totaled $21.5 million, up from $14.5 million in the 2004 quarter.

HEP provides refined petroleum product transportation and terminal services to the petroleum industry, including Holly Corp., which owns a 45 percent interest in the partnership. The partnership owns and operates refined product pipelines and terminals in several states, including Utah. Holly Corp. operates a refinery in Woods Cross.

HEP began operations in July 2004 and made several operational changes that the company said make the operating results not comparable on a period-to-period basis.

HEP's stock fell 2 cents Monday to close at $42.20. During the past year, the price has ranged from $30.10 to $47.


Contributing: Associated Press.