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Southwest Airlines Reports Robust March Traffic Statistics

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Southwest Airlines CompanyLUV reported impressive traffic results for March. Traffic (measured in revenue passenger miles or RPMs) rose 3.7% to around 11.72 billion while capacity or available seat miles (ASMs) expanded 2.4% to 13.76 billion.

Load factor (percentage of seats filled by passengers) improved 100 basis points (bps) to 85.1% in the month as traffic growth outpaced capacity expansion. Additionally, passenger count grew 5.3% to 14.32 billion.

In the first three months of 2018, Southwest Airlines witnessed a 3.7% rise in RPMs to 30.44 billion. Also, ASMs inched up 1.8% to 37.37 billion. As a result, the load factor increased 160 bps to 81.5%. Moreover, passenger count increased 5.5% to 37.54 billion on a year-to-date basis.

Southwest Airlines Co. Price

Southwest Airlines Co. Price | Southwest Airlines Co. Quote

The low-cost carrier anticipates first-quarter revenue per available seat mile (RASM) to be flat year over year. While it estimates operating expenses per available seat mile (CASM) excluding fuel and oil expense plus profit-sharing expense to nudge up 0-1%. Additionally, first-quarter fuel costs are assumed at approximately $2.10 per gallon.

The company is scheduled to report first-quarter 2018 results on Apr 26.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Southwest Airlines carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the airline space are Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. CPCAY , SkyWest, Inc. SKYW and United Continental Holdings, Inc. UAL , each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here .

Shares of Cathay Pacific Airways, SkyWest and United Continental have gained 11.5%, 19.7% and 1.3%, respectively, in the last six months.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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