Based on the aggregated intelligence of 170,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, discount airline Southwest Airlines
With that in mind, let's take a closer look at Southwest's business and see what CAPS investors are saying about the stock right now.
|Headquarters (founded)||Dallas (1967)|
|Market Cap||$10.3 billion|
|Trailing-12-Month Revenue||$11.7 billion|
|Management||CEO Gary Kelly (since 2004)
CFO Laura Wright (since 2004)
|Return on Equity (average, past 3 years)||4%|
|Cash/Debt||$3.4 billion / $3.5 billion|
Sources: Capital IQ (a division of Standard & Poor's) and Motley Fool CAPS.
On CAPS, 85% of the 1,592 members who have rated Southwest believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bulls include All-Stars Jeffreyw and torpex77, both of whom are ranked in the top 15% of our community.
Best airline business model on the planet. New labor agreements allow larger 737's, purchase of [AirTran
(NYSE: AAI)] opens [Southwest] to international destinations in the Caribbean and Mexico. It's not about being the biggest airline, it's about being consistently profitable.
No kidding. Thanks to its low-cost, direct point-to-point routes, Southwest's operating margins are consistently in the high single-digits, while legacy foes AMR, Delta
CAPS member torpex77 sums up the bull case from a flyer's point of view:
I don't like the airline industry. Lots of options for picking air travel, fares seem high and are subject to increases with fuel costs.
But it seems like most of the carriers are doing their best to piss off their customers with extra fees.
The one airline that isn't is Southwest. ...
They always seemed to have the best fairs AND (more importantly) the best service. They had the least delays and cancellations of any airline I flew.
I do continue to hear good things about their management and financial situation. But really, I'm picking this one because I like to do business with the company. Brand loyalty is a very good thing, particularly in a competitive industry.
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