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With summer travel season in full swing, United Airlines breaks into the black

United Airlines is making money after a slow start to the year.

The airline's net income in the second quarter hit $789 million, topping Wall Street expectations and marking a turnaround from the first quarter when United was the only major U.S. carrier to report a loss.

Shares are up more than 5 percent before the opening bell.

The company also said Thursday that it will buy back up to $1 billion in shares over the next three years.

United says that excluding special items, it would have earned $2.34 per share. Analysts surveyed by FactSet were expecting $2.19.

Revenue is up 3.3 percent to $10.33 billion, slightly higher than Wall Street forecasts.

Shares of United Continental Holdings Inc. rose $1.18 to $46 in premarket trading.

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