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Southwest Says Lower Fuel Costs, Higher Fares Boost 4Q Profit

Jan 23, 2014 9:20 am

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This is Southwest’s 41st consecutive year of profitability, which is track record that few other airlines can match.

— Samantha Shankman

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Kiichiro Sato  / AP Photo

In this Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, photo, Southwest planes line up in Chicago. Southwest reports quarterly earnings on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014. Kiichiro Sato / AP Photo


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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