Southwest Airlines has a profitable 4Q and 2010, celebrates 15 years in Florida

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) today reported its fourth quarter and full year 2010 results. Net income for fourth quarter 2010 was $131 million, or $.18 per diluted share, compared to $116 million, or $.16 per diluted share, for fourth quarter 2009. Both periods’ results included special items primarily related to non-cash, mark-to-market, and other items associated with a portion of the Company’s fuel hedge portfolio. In addition, fourth quarter 2010 results included approximately $3 million in charges (net of profitsharing and taxes) primarily related to consulting and legal fees in connection with the proposed acquisition of AirTran Holdings, Inc.* Excluding special items for both periods, fourth quarter 2010 net income was $115 million, or $.15 per diluted share, compared to $74 million, or $.10 per diluted share, for fourth quarter 2009. This was in line with Thomson’s First Call mean estimate of $.15 per diluted share for fourth quarter 2010. Additional information regarding special items is included in this release and in the accompanying reconciliation tables.

For the full year 2010, net income was $459 million, or $.61 per diluted share, compared to $99 million, or $.13 per diluted share, for full year 2009. In addition to full year 2010 results including charges related to the proposed acquisition of AirTran Holdings, Inc.*, and both years’ results including special items primarily related to fuel hedging, full year 2009 results included a $35 million charge (net of profitsharing and taxes) relating to the Company’s 2009 voluntary early-out program. Excluding these special items for both years, full year 2010 net income was $550 million, or $.74 per diluted share, compared to $143 million, or $.19 per diluted share, for full year 2009.

This represents 38 consecutive years of profitability, quite an accomplishment in the airline world.

WN recently revised its Boeing delivery schedule, resulting in three additional aircraft to be delivered in 2011. The Company now has 19 Boeing 737-700 aircraft scheduled for firm delivery in 2011, and 20 Boeing 737-800s scheduled for firm delivery in 2012.

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck. Southwest is also celebrating 15 years in Florida. Please click on the photo for additional details.