Q1 Earnings: Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV) & United Airlines

Two major airlines posted their first quarter results, Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV) posted a profit, but the performance was weak when compared to the earlier quarter, while United Airlines posted a loss, but the performance improved from the year ago quarter.

Q1 Earnings: Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV) & United Airlines

Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV)  posted earnings for the first quarter of 2013 in which the net income came in at $59 million, or $0.08 per share, comprising of $6 million (net) of favorable special items. In the corresponding quarter of 2012, the Airline Company earned a net income of $98 million, or $0.13 per share, also including $116 million (net) of favorable special items. The total operating income for the company came in at $4.08 billion, as against $3.99 billion in the previous year.

The passenger revenue earned by the company was down, but that was expected in March for the Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV). The management is expecting that in April as well the passenger unit revenue will decline from the last year.

According to a report from Barclays PLC (NYSE:BCS) (LON:BARC), Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV) is poised to grow in the next couple of quarters indicated by the numerous fleets, network, revenue and merger efforts, which the airline has been making. One of the most significant factors that are to be considered is the growth in Network reallocation. The Airlines can take some big steps in the network like summer cuts in more competitive markets like Philadelphia

The loss of the United Airlines contracted in the first quarter of 2013 backed by an increase in revenue of 1 percent and declining of fuel cost. The United Airlines incurred a total loss of $417 million, or $1.26 per share, a decrease from the loss of $448 million, or $1.36 per share in the corresponding quarter of 2012. The revenue of the airline increased a little over 1 percent to $8.72 billion. The fairs paid per miles increased 1.9 percent but was dominated by the increased cost. The cost per seat surged about 7 percent.

The expense on fuel declined by 6 percent, which was supported by less flying and a slim decline in the price per gallon. The labor cost of the airline, however, surged 12 percent. The United Continental Holdings Inc (NYSE:UAL) is in the process of signing new deals regarding wage with the workers under which the workers coming from both the airlines will be covered along with the new pilot contract approved in December.

As per the Barclays PLC (NYSE:BCS) (LON:BARC) report, the second quarter EPS for the airline is estimated to come in at $1.65 from $2.30 due to expected decline in revenue and increasing cost. For full fiscal 2013, the EPS is expected to come in at $3.70 from $4.15. For fiscal 2014, the Earnings per share are expected to come at $5.65 from $5.40 per share.

About the Author

Aman Jain
Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both Marketing and Finance side. He has worked as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, reviewing tech gadgets, playing PC games and cricket. - Email him at amanjain@valuewalk.com