The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q4), Southwest Airlines met expectations on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.
Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue grew slightly and GAAP earnings per share dropped significantly.
Margins dropped across the board.
Southwest Airlines booked revenue of $4.17 billion. The 11 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ predicted a top line of $4.21 billion on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 1.6% higher than the prior-year quarter's $4.11 billion.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.
EPS came in at $0.09. The 16 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ predicted $0.08 per share. GAAP EPS of $0.11 for Q4 were 45% lower than the prior-year quarter's $0.20 per share.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.
For the quarter, gross margin was 20.7%, 80 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 2.5%, 200 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 1.9%, 180 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $4.11 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.08.
Next year's average estimate for revenue is $18.01 billion. The average EPS estimate is $0.98.
The stock has a three-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 1,504 members out of 1,757 rating the stock outperform, and 253 members rating it underperform. Among 374 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 327 give Southwest Airlines a green thumbs-up, and 47 give it a red thumbs-down.
Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Southwest Airlines is outperform, with an average price target of $11.82.
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Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor of Motley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. TMFDisclosureHere