Southwest Airlines (LUV) earnings Q4 2022

Southwest Airlines (LUV) earnings Q4 2022

Travelers test in at a Southwest Airlines ticket counter through the busy Christmas vacation season at Orlando International Airport on December 28, 2022 in Orlando, Florida.

Paul Hennessy | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Southwest Airlines mentioned Thursday it expects its holiday meltdown to proceed to weigh on its backside line, however mentioned it nonetheless expects to be worthwhile this yr.

The provider reported a internet lack of $220 million within the fourth quarter after the journey chaos drove up bills and value it tens of millions in income throughout what was anticipated to be the busiest journey interval since earlier than the pandemic.

“Thus far in January 2023, the Company has skilled a rise in flight cancellations and a deceleration in bookings, primarily for January and February 2023 journey, that are assumed to be related to the operational disruptions in December 2022,” Southwest mentioned in a quarterly report.

Analysts had been anticipating a per-share revenue of 19 cents for the primary quarter, based mostly on estimates compiled by Refinitiv.

The Dallas-based airline mentioned reserving traits look optimistic in March, nonetheless, and it forecast first-quarter income up 20% to 24% over final yr with capability up 10%. It additionally estimated gas and different prices could be larger than it beforehand estimated.

Southwest’s fourth-quarter loss compares with a $68 million revenue throughout the identical interval in 2021. Its report income of $6.17 billion was up greater than 22% from a yr earlier.

Here’s how Southwest performed within the fourth quarter, in contrast with Wall Street expectations in line with Refinitiv consensus estimates:

  • Adjusted loss per share: 38 cents vs an anticipated lack of 12 cents.
  • Total income: $6.17 billion vs an anticipated $6.16 billion.

Southwest shares had been down about 2% in premarket buying and selling after reporting outcomes.

The airline mentioned the mass cancellations hit its pretax outcomes by $800 million, in keeping with its estimate earlier this month of a success between $725 million and $825 million.

Southwest canceled round 16,700 flights between Dec. 21 although Dec. 31 after extreme winter climate swept by way of the U.S.

While rival airways had largely recovered round Christmas after the winter climate, Southwest’s expertise was unable to process all of the flight modifications and crews needed to name the provider to get rescheduled. The provider determined to scrap most of its flights within the following days to reset its operation, CEO Bob Jordan mentioned earlier this month.

The provider has been processing tens of 1000’s of refunds and complicated reimbursements for vacationers who booked flights on different airways to get to their locations.

The Transportation Department is investigating whether or not Southwest’s schedules over the vacations had been “unrealistic,” a spokesperson mentioned late Wednesday.

Despite the rocky finish of the yr, Southwest reported a $539 million revenue for 2022. That’s nonetheless down 45% from a yr earlier, nonetheless.

For the full-year 2023, it plans to develop flying as a lot as 17%, submit one other revenue and develop margins, echoing the upbeat outlook shared by rivals like American, Delta and United.

Southwest’s executives will maintain a name with analysts and media at 12:30 ET. They are more likely to face questions on any further prices and political fallout from its missteps in addition to an replace on expertise updates that goal to forestall one other meltdown.