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Southwest Airlines experiences soft third quarter

Oct. 20, 2011, Dallas, Tx. - Southwest Airlines is reporting a loss for the third-quarter because its fuel-hedging bets turned sour when the price of oil dropped over the summer.


October 20, 2011
By Carey Fredericks

Southwest says it lost $140 million, compared with net income of $205 million a year earlier.

Hedging is like insurance against a spike in oil prices, but Southwest's hedges lost value as crude prices fell by one-fifth during the third quarter.

Excluding the hedging losses and other one-time expenses, Southwest would have earned $122 million, or 15 cents per share — still below last year's results, but a penny better than analysts expected.

With the addition of AirTran, revenue rose 35 per cent to $4.31 billion.

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