Southwest Airlines reports record annual profit

Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) has reported record annual net income of USD 2.24 billion, or USD 3.55 per diluted share, compared with 2015 net income of USD 2.18 billion, or USD 3.27 per diluted share, the airline said.

The company reported fourth quarter net income of USD 522 million, or USD .84 per diluted share, compared with fourth quarter 2015 net income of USD 536 million, or USD .82 per diluted share.

The airline returned USD 1.97 billion to shareholders in 2016, through a combination of USD 222 million in dividends and USD 1.75 billion in share repurchases.

Southwest Airlines operates passenger airlines that provide scheduled air transportation services in the United States and near-international markets.