FILE- In this July 17, 2018, file photo ramp workers prepare a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 for departure to Denver from Minneapolis International Airport in Minneapolis. Southwest Airlines Co. reports earnings Thursday, Oct. 25. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

Southwest 3Q Profit Rises On More Passengers, Flights

October 25, 2018 - 5:09 am
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NEW YORK (AP) — Southwest Airlines is reporting profits rose more than 16 percent during the third quarter as it booked more passengers on more flights.

The company earned $615 million, or $1.08 per share, beating estimates by 2 cents, according to a survey by Zacks Investment Research.

Revenue rose 5.1 percent to $5.58 billion, also edging out forecasts.

Revenue for every seat flown one mile — a figure that airline investors watch closely — rose 2.3 percent during the quarter.

Chairman and CEO Gary Kelly said, however, that year-over-year unit cost inflation will rise 3 percent, excluding fuel and gas expenses, as the carrier updates its fleet.

Shares of Southwest Airlines Co. slid almost 7 percent before the opening bell Thursday, though Kelly said the company still hopes to expand margins.

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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on LUV at https://www.zacks.com/ap/LUV

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