Southwest Airlines Earnings: Bad Luck Continues

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV) reported a lower net income in the first quarter compared with a year earlier, falling below analysts’ estimates. Southwest Airlines Co. is a passenger airline that provides air transportation in the United States.

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Southwest Airlines Earnings Cheat Sheet for the First Quarter

Results: Net income for Southwest Airlines Co. fell to $5 million (one cent/share) vs. $11 million (one cent/share) a year earlier. A decline of 54.5% from the year earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 18% to $3.1 billion YoY.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: LUV fell short of the mean analyst estimate of 3 cents/share. Estimates ranged from a loss of one cent per share to 6 cents per share.

Quoting Management: Gary C. Kelly, Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “While escalating jet fuel prices and inclement weather challenged our first quarter profitability, our People prevailed.”

Key Stats:

The company has enjoyed double-digit year-over-year revenue growth for the past five quarters. Over that span, the company has averaged growth of 17%, with the biggest boost coming in the second quarter of the last fiscal year when revenue rose 21.1% from the year earlier quarter.

Competitors to Watch: AMR Corporation (NYSE:AMR), Delta Air Lines(NYSE:DAL), United Continental (NYSE:UAL), JetBlue (NASDAQ:JBLU), US Airways (NYSE:LCC), Alaska Air (NYSE:ALK), and AirTran Holdings (NYSE:AAI).

Today’s Performance: Shares of LUV are trading at $11.37 as of April 21, 2011 at 11:03 AM ET, down 2.3% from the previous closing price of $11.63.

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