Southwest Airlines Co. Third Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV) will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, October 20, 2011. 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 estimate of analysts is for profit of 13 cents per share, a decline of 50% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from 23 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It has risen from 10 cents during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 43.1% versus last year to 41 cents.

Past Earnings Performance: Last quarter, the company fell short of estimates by 0 cents, coming in at net income of 15 cents per share against a mean estimate of profit of 21 cents. The company fell in line with expectations in the first quarter.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a rise of 32.6% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $4.23 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts seem relatively indifferent about Southwest Airlines with eight of 15 analysts surveyed maintaining a hold rating.

A Look Back: In the second quarter, profit rose 43.8% to $161 million (21 cents a share) from $112 million (15 cents a share) the year earlier, but fell short analyst expectations. Revenue rose 30.6% to $4.14 billion from $3.17 billion.

Key Stats:

The company has enjoyed double-digit year-over-year percentage revenue growth for the past four quarters. Over that span, the company has averaged growth of 20.8%, with the biggest boost coming in the most recent quarter when revenue rose 30.6% from the year earlier quarter.

Competitors to Watch: AirTran Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AAI), JetBlue Airways Corp. (NASDAQ:JBLU), Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL), AMR Corporation (NYSE:AMR), US Airways Group, Inc. (NYSE:LCC), Allegiant Travel Company (NASDAQ:ALGT), Republic Airways Hldgs. Inc. (NASDAQ:RJET), SkyWest, Inc. (NASDAQ:SKYW), Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE:ALK), and United Continental Hldgs., Inc. (NYSE:UAL).

Stock Price Performance: During July 21, 2011 to October 14, 2011, the stock price had fallen $1.85 (-17.7%) from $10.46 to $8.61. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between February 2, 2011 and February 11, 2011 when shares rose for eight-straight days, rising 7.1% (+82 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, falling 7.5% (-79 cents) over that span. Shares are down $4.35 (-33.6%) year to date.

(Source: Xignite Financials)

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