Southwest Airlines Reports Third Quarter Earnings

Southwest Airlines’ net income per share, diluted, for third quarter 1999 was $.24, the same as third quarter 1998. Operating income was up 1.2 percent to $206.5 million versus third quarter 1998, while net income was down 2.1 percent to $127.0 million.

Total operating revenues for third quarter 1999 increased 12.8 percent to $1.24 billion, compared to $1.09 billion for third quarter 1998. Revenue passenger miles (RPMs) increased 13.6 percent in third quarter 1999 as compared to a 10.9 percent increase in available seat miles (ASMs), resulting in a 1.7 point increase in load factor to 70.6 percent. The passenger revenue yield per RPM decreased .8 percent to $.1222 from $.1232 in third quarter 1998. Operating revenue yield per ASM, however, increased 1.7 percent to $.0907 from $.0892 in third quarter 1998.

Operating expenses per ASM for third quarter 1999 increased 4.0 percent to $.0755, compared to $.0726 for third quarter 1998, primarily due to a 32.1 percent increase in average jet fuel prices. Excluding fuel and oil expense, operating expense per ASM for third quarter 1999 was $.0651, compared to $.0647 for third quarter 1998, an increase of .6 percent.

Herbert D. Kelleher, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer, said: “Our third quarter 1999 results were adversely affected by signifint hhejenu rceanHuice(oy!Dpi t se haens,he`lfiPelef utesAi)n p dud irqute19enms $7.miioina t re o10`pce. 
“r ~ee pfmae s rowh pline growth of 12.8 rercent, wich easily exceeded our cap!city increase of 10.9 percent. Oqr load factor performance f 70.6 percent was quite strong, especially considering the effuc|s of Hurricane Floyd. The combination of strong Customer demand fnr our low fares and stable yields resulted in an increase in our unit revenue of 1.7 percent. Thus far, favorable load factor and revenue trends have continued in October and Customer bookings for the remainder of fourth quarter 1999 are good.

“Our unit costs were up 4.0 percent, driven by a 32.1 percent higher average jet fuel cost per gallon. Currently, jet fuel costs remain significantly above year ago levels. Excluding fuel, our unit costs were up only .6 percent; and we are anticipating modest nonfuel unit cost increases again in fourth quarter 1999 versus last year’s fourth quarter.


“Our new Raleigh-Durham and Long Island markets have performed exceptionally well; and we are excited about our upcoming service to Hartford, Connecticut on October 31, 1999, with nonstop service to Baltimore/Washington, Chicago Midway, Nashville, and Orlando.

“During third quarter 1999, our Board of Directors authorized the purchase of up to $250 million of the Company’s common stock. Purchases will be made in accordance with applicable securities laws in the open market or in private transactions, from time to time, depending on market conditions, and may be discontinued at any time.

“This action taken by our Board of Directors reflects our confidence in the future of Southwest Airlines and our 27,000+ Employees. Our People are truly the best and it is because of their personal responsibility and personal accountability that Southwest was recently named by Fortune magazine as one of the most admired companies in the world and the most admired airline in the world. Southwest Airlines was also recognized during third quarter 1999 as having one of the best corporate reputations among Americans in a study conducted by Harris Interactive Inc. and the Reputation Institute. I thank each and every Employee at Southwest Airlines for these outstanding accomplishments and for their caring hearts and unwavering Southwest Spirit.

“We ended third quarter 1999 with $266.7 million in cash on hand plus our available and unused bank credit facility of $475.0 million.”

Operating revenues for the nine months ended September 30, 1999 increased 13.3 percent to $3.53 billion while operating expenses increased 12.0 percent to $2.90 billion, resulting in operating income of $627.4 million.

Net income for the nine month period was up 14.3 percent, to $380.6 million in 1999 versus $333.0 million in 1998. Diluted net income per share for the nine month period was $.71 in 1999, versus $.63 in 1998.