Top notch passenger airline
Southwest Airlines Co.
) witnessed a drop in traffic and capacity for Jan 2013,
reflecting lesser passengers traveled and trips undertaken.
The company's traffic - measured in revenue passenger miles
(RPMs) - was 7.25 billion for Jan 2013, down 1.7% from 7.37
billion recorded a year ago. On a year-over-year basis,
consolidated capacity (or available seat miles/ASMs) went up
marginally by 0.5% to 9.98 billion.
The load factor or percentage of seats filled by passengers fell
to 72.7% from 74.3% in Jan 2012. Passenger revenue per available
seat mile (PRASM), however, improved about 2.0% year over year.
Another leading U.S. passenger carrier
Delta Air Lines
) displayed flat traffic growth for the same period with RPMs at
Dallas, Texas Southwest Airlines - operating along with other
prominent players such as
United Continental Holdings Inc.
JetBlue Airways Corporation
) - currently holds a Zacks Rank #2, implying a Buy rating.
The U.S. low-cost carrier reported its fourth quarter financial
results on Jan 24. Quarterly adjusted earnings of 9 cents per
share slivered past the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 7
cents. The results remained at the same level
with that of the prior-year quarter. Revenues moved up 1.6% year
over year to $4,173 million but missed the Zacks Consensus
Estimate of $4,214 million.
Looking ahead, we believe that the company remains committed to
sustain its brand and operational excellence via its cost-cutting
measures, fleet rightsizing, and the addition of new and
attractive destinations. Delta's Evolve retrofit program, steady
capacity growth, All-New Rapid Rewards and several steps to
enhance ancillary revenues will position it advantageously in the
DELTA AIR LINES (DAL): Free Stock Analysis
JETBLUE AIRWAYS (JBLU): Free Stock Analysis
SOUTHWEST AIR (LUV): Free Stock Analysis
UNITED CONT HLD (UAL): Free Stock Analysis
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