Southwest Airlines Co. First Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV) will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, April 19, 2012. Southwest Airlines is a passenger airline that provides air transportation in the United States.

Southwest Airlines Co. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average analyst estimate is for a loss of 5 cents per share, a spike from net income of 3 cents in the year-ago quarter. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from 20 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It also has dropped from a loss of one cent during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 58.1% versus last year to 68 cents.

Past Earnings Performance: The company is looking to beat analyst estimates for the third quarter in a row. Last quarter, it beat estimates with profit of 9 cents per share against the mean estimate of 7 cents. In the prior quarter, the company reported net income of 15 cents.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $4.01 billion in revenue this quarter, a rise of 29.4% from the year-ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $17.49 billion for the year, a rise of 11.7% from last year’s revenue of $15.66 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts seem relatively indifferent about Southwest Airlines with eight of 14 analysts surveyed maintaining a hold rating.

A Look Back: In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, profit rose 16% to $152 million (20 cents a share) from $131 million (17 cents a share) the year earlier, exceeding analyst expectations. Revenue rose 31.9% to $4.11 billion from $3.11 billion.

Key Stats:

The company enters this earnings announcement with substantial revenue momentum. The company has averaged year-over-year revenue growth of 28.9% over the last four quarters.

Stock Price Performance: Between February 15, 2012 and April 13, 2012, the stock price had fallen $1.58 (-16.6%), from $9.52 to $7.94. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between January 30, 2012 and February 3, 2012, when shares rose for five straight days, increasing 7% (+66 cents) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between July 19, 2011 and July 28, 2011 when shares fell for eight straight days, dropping 7.5% (-79 cents) over that span.

(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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