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Southwest Airlines Heading for a Bright Future
1. Southwest Airlines (LUV) Beats on Q1 Earnings & Revenues (Zacks)
In its 45th year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV) continues to differentiate itself from other air carriers with exemplary customer service. Southwest operates a network of 97 destinations across the U.S. and seven additional countries.
Based on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s most recent data, Southwest Airlines is the nation’s largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded. The company operates the largest fleet of Boeing (BA) aircraft in the world, the majority of which are equipped with satellite-based WiFi providing gate-to-gate connectivity.
The company recently reported strong first quarter results. The operating revenues grew in line with the company’s expectations. Solid bookings and revenue trends have continued. The first quarter was marked by decrease in fuel costs, strong margins and cash-flows.
Record first quarter
Summary numbers: Revenues of USD 4826 million, Net Earnings of USD 511 million.
- Gross margins widened from 27.82% to 31.54% compared to the same period last year, operating (EBITDA) margins now 25.57% from 22.93%.
Operating income was a record $95+ million, resulting in a strong first quarter operating margin of 9.7%. Free cash flow was in the $billions.
The company returned $596 million to shareholders through the combination of dividends and share repurchases.