Crain’s Headlines: United Pulls Profit Forecast, Citing Coronavirus Uncertainty

United Airlines has withdrawn its guidance to Wall Street on full-year 2020 revenue and earnings. The Chicago-based airline cited heightened uncertainty over duration and spread of the coronavirus and its potential effect on overall air travel demand.

United was the first U.S. airline to suspend 2020 guidance over the coronavirus outbreak, which sparked a global stock market plunge this week as a surge of cases outside mainland China ignited fears of a global pandemic.

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The uncertainty surrounding the virus means United can’t guarantee its earlier goal of earning $11 to $13 a share this year.

Airlines around the world, including United, have halted flights to China in the wake of the outbreak.

In other Chicago-area business news:

Amazon has cut two deals for new warehouses in Downers Grove and Palatine.

The e-commerce colossus is rapidly encircling the city with a network of distribution centers as it pushes to speed up delivery times.

In the past six months, Amazon has confirmed plans for warehouses in Skokie, Melrose Park and Channahon. It’s also acquired a huge parcel in Bolingbrook and explored a deal in Pullman on Chicago’s South Side.

Next up: Downers Grove, where Amazon has signed leases for two new industrial buildings where Interstates 355 and 88 connect. In Palatine, Amazon has agreed to take over a proposed warehouse on Hicks Road near Northwest Highway.

And finally, while WeWork is slowing its leasing spree, the industry it helped to supercharge is projected to pick up speed over the next few years.

A new report from real estate services firm Newmark Knight Frank forecasts that the amount of so-called “co-working” space in downtown Chicago will grow to more than 9 million square feet by the end of 2023. That’s almost three times as much as there is today.

The consultancy says the surge will be fueled by rising demand for shared workspace with low-risk, short-term leases.

Crain’s Headlines is a joint production between WTTW and Crain’s Chicago Business. It airs every Monday through Thursday on the WTTW News program “Chicago Tonight.” 

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