Southwest Airlines Co (LUV) Stock Flies on Impressive Q4 Earnings

Southwest Airlines Co (NYSE:LUV) stock was flying high on Thursday following the release of its earnings report for the fourth quarter of 2016.

Southwest Airlines Co, LUV

Southwest Airlines Co reported earnings per share of 75 cents for the fourth quarter of 2016. This is down from its earnings per share of 90 cents from the same time last year. However, it came in above Wall Street’s earnings per share estimate of 70 cents for the quarter.

Revenue reported by Southwest Airlines Co in the fourth quarter of the year was $5.08 billion. The airline company’s revenue from the fourth quarter of 2015 was $4.98 billion. Analysts were expecting LUV to report revenue of $5.03 billion during the fourth quarter of 2016.

For the fourth quarter of 2016, Southwest Airlines Co reported operating income of $846 million. This is down from its operating income of $1.0 billion from the same time in the year prior. Net income for the quarter was $522 million. The company’s net income from the same time last year was $536 million.

“We are delighted to report record annual profits for 2016, our 44th consecutive year of profitability,” Southwest Airlines Co Chairman and CEO Gary Kelly said in a statement. “Our total operating revenues reached a record $20.4 billion, with sustained demand for our legendary low fares and superior Customer Service. Our profit margins were very strong, and our ROIC was a near-record 30.0 percent.”

Southwest Airlines Co says that it expects revenue per available seat mile to be flat to down 1% during the first quarter of 2016. It is basing this on trends already seen in January. It is also expecting fuel costs for the first quarter of the year to range from $1.95 per gallon to $2.00 per gallon.

LUV stock was up 7% as of Thursday afternoon.

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