UPDATE 2-Atlas Air sees better second half

Thu Aug 2, 2012 12:48pm EDT

* Second-quarter earnings $1.16 a share

* Adjusted profit topped estimates

* Full-year forecast affirmed

Aug 2 (Reuters) - Cargo carrier Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings Inc posted a higher quarterly profit on Thursday, aided by growth in military passenger service and increased commercial charter flying.

Despite global economic uncertainty, Atlas Air said earnings for the current third quarter would be "moderately higher" than the second quarter, and fourth-quarter profit would be "substantially higher" than the third period.

"We anticipate the demand from the high-tech sector will increase as multiple new product launches take place during the final four months of the year," Chief Executive Bill Flynn said during a conference call.

The company, which provides charter freight services to commercial airlines and the U.S. military, said second-quarter net income was $30.9 million, or $1.16 a diluted share, up 29 percent from $23.8 million, or 90 cents a share, a year earlier.

Adjusted for items, profit was $1.18 a share, compared with 92 cents expected by analysts, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Quarterly revenue rose 21 percent to $424.7 million.

The company stood by a prior forecast calling for full-year earnings to top $5.10 a share.

Shares of Atlas Air were up 2.8 percent to $45.56 in midday trading.