Southwest Airlines Beats on EPS But GAAP Results Lag

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Southwest Airlines (NYS: LUV) reported earnings on April 25. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended March 31 (Q1), Southwest Airlines met expectations on revenues and beat expectations on earnings per share.

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue increased slightly. Non-GAAP earnings per share grew. GAAP earnings per share dropped significantly.


Gross margins increased, operating margins grew, net margins dropped.

Revenue details
Southwest Airlines reported revenue of $4.08 billion. The 11 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ predicted net sales of $4.07 billion on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were the same as the prior-year quarter's.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

EPS details
EPS came in at $0.07. The 15 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ averaged $0.03 per share. Non-GAAP EPS were $0.07 for Q1 versus -$0.02 per share for the prior-year quarter. GAAP EPS of $0.08 for Q1 were 38% lower than the prior-year quarter's $0.13 per share.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

Margin details
For the quarter, gross margin was 19.4%, 120 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 2.0%, 110 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 1.4%, 110 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. (Margins calculated in GAAP terms.)

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $4.73 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.39.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $17.75 billion. The average EPS estimate is $0.99.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a three-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 1,527 members out of 1,783 rating the stock outperform, and 256 members rating it underperform. Among 377 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 331 give Southwest Airlines a green thumbs-up, and 46 give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Southwest Airlines is outperform, with an average price target of $13.87.

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The article Southwest Airlines Beats on EPS But GAAP Results Lag originally appeared on Fool.com.

Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor ofMotley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. The Motley Fool recommends Southwest Airlines. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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