This morning Southwest Airlines kicked off the third quarter earnings parade for the things with wings.
The bulk of the sector reports earnings next week.
Excluding items, the airline reported a profit of 3 cents a share. This was a bit better than the street consensus, which had forecast the airline would post a profit, excluding items of two cents.
On the revenue side, the airline saw passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) down 2.2%. This was much better than the airline’s PRASM drop of 6% it recorded in the second quarter. However, yields were down 12% to 12.94 cents/mile.
On the cost side, the airline saw CASM jump 6.6%, excluding fuel and special items. Last quarter, CASM was up 5.9%.
Operating margin came in at 4.8%. This was a tad lower than last year, when the airline posted a 5.1% operating margin. Not necessarily that good a thing when you consider where the price of fuel was for much of the third quarter last year.
The basics reported today were: Net loss for the quarter was $16 million or $0.02 a share. This compared to last year when the airline posted a loss of $120 million or $0.16 per share.
The results included the following special items: A charge of $27 million related to the airline’s early-out program they offered employees and a loss of $12 million related to non-cash mark-to-market items related to the airline’s fuel hedging program.
Excluding the special items, the airline posted a profit of $23 million or $0.03. This compared to last year when the airline posted a profit of $69 million or $0.09.