Southwest Posts $161 Million Q2 Profit


Aug. 04--Adding another airline boosted Southwest Airlines' second-quarter profit by 43 percent.

The Dallas-based carrier, which purchased AirTran Airways in May, said it earned $161 million in the quarter, up from $112 million in the second quarter of 2010. Revenues were also up by 30 percent to $4.1 billion.

"We have the opportunity to optimize AirTran's flight schedule to boost its profitability," Southwest chief executive Gary Kelly said in a statement. "Ultimately, integrating their network into Southwest's provides even more substantial opportunities to boost combined revenues and profits."

Excluding one-time accounting items, Southwest reported second-quarter income of $112 million, or 15 cents per share, disappointing Wall Street. Analysts had expected the carrier to report earnings of 20 cents per share, according to Thomson Financial estimates.

Southwest is also the latest carrier to announce changes to its capacity plans. With rising fuel prices and a sluggish economy, the carrier said it will keep 2012 capacity flat compared to this year. Its 2011 capacity will grow four to five percent compared with 2010.

Southwest executives will discuss the carrier's quarterly results on a conference call with investors at 10:30 a.m. CDT on Thursday.