MIAMI — Southwest Airlines reported its financial results for the third quarter (Q3) of 2016 this morning, announcing a net profit of $582 million (excluding special items). This figure represents a 6.6% decline year-over-year (YOY) from $623 million in Q3 of 2015.
Revenues declined 3.4% YOY for the quarter to $5.1 billion, mainly due to a one time special revenue adjustment accrued in Q3 2015. Passenger revenue was also down 1.0% to $4.7 billion, while expenses rose 8.6% to $4.44 billion. All of this added up to an operating profit of $695 million, down 43.3% YOY, and an operating margin of 13.5% that compares unfavorably with Southwest’s peer airlines.
Capacity for Southwest, measured in available seat miles (ASMs) went up 4.2% YOY, ever so slightly outpacing demand growth (measured in revenue passenger miles – RPMs) of 4.1%. The all import PRASM figure, which is perhaps the metric that Wall Street cares about the most, declined 5.0% YOY to 12.32 cents, while CASM excluding fuel rose 6.6% YOY to 9.25 cents. All in all, it was a bit of a rough quarter for Southwest on the financial side of the ledger.
Airways Senior Business Analyst Vinay Bhaskara conducted a live blog of Southwest’s Q3 earnings call via the ReplyAll tool. You can follow along with his commentary below, though you will have to refresh this page to see new entries.