Southwest’s 4Q profit rises on lower fuel spending
By DAVID KOENIG | AP Airlines Writer January 23, 2014 7:42AM
In this Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, photo, Southwest planes line up in Chicago. Southwest reports quarterly earnings on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)
DALLAS — Southwest Airlines is making more money thanks to a lower fuel bill and higher average fares.
The company said Thursday that fourth-quarter net income was $212 million, up from $78 million a year earlier.
The airline says that excluding special items it earned 33 cents per share. Analysts were expecting 29 cents per share, according to a FactSet survey. Revenue is up 6.1 percent to $4.43 billion, above analysts’ forecast of $4.39 billion.
The increase in net income can be credited to a 9.2 percent drop in fuel spending, a savings of $138 million. Labor costs are up 7.3 percent, however.
The average fare on Southwest is $156.05 each way, up $8 or 5.4 percent from a year earlier.