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Southwest’s 4Q profit rises on lower fuel spending

In this Wednesday Jan. 8 2014 phoSouthwest planes line up Chicago. Southwest reports quarterly earnings Thursday Jan. 23 2014. (AP

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)

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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.



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