Southwest reports USD 615m in Q3 2018 net income

Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) has reported third quarter 2018 net income of USD 615 million, or USD 1.08 per diluted share, compared with third quarter 2017 net income of USD 528 million, or USD 0.88 per diluted share, the company said.

Excluding special items, third quarter 2018 net income was USD 614 million, or USD 1.08 per diluted share, compared with third quarter 2017 net income of USD 554 million, or USD 0.93 per diluted share.

The company´s third quarter 2018 total operating revenues increased 5.1 percent, year-over-year, to a third quarter record USD 5.6 billion. Third quarter 2018 operating revenue per ASM (RASM, or unit revenues) increased 1.2 percent, year-over-year, driven largely by a passenger revenue yield increase of 2.3 percent, year-over-year, offset slightly by a load factor decline of 0.9 points, year-over-year, to 83.9 percent.

Third quarter 2018 total operating expenses increased 7.2 percent, year-over-year, to USD 4.8 billion. Total operating expenses per ASM (CASM, or unit costs) increased 3.1 percent, as compared with third quarter 2017. Excluding special items in both periods, third quarter 2018 total operating expenses increased 8.1 percent to USD 4.8 billion, or 4.1 percent on a unit basis, year-over-year.

In the third quarter 2018, the company reported operating income of USD 798 million, and operating margin of 14.3 percent, and net margin of 11.0 percent. Operating cash flow was USD 1.3 billion, and free cash flow was USD 817 million.

The company returned USD 591 million to shareholders through a combination of share repurchases and dividends.