• Breaking News

    Southwest Airlines cuts revenue forecast on $60 million government shutdown hit, shares sink

    Southwest Airlines shares slipped Wednesday after the Dallas-based airline trimmed its revenue outlook for the quarter, citing a $60 million hit from the partial government shutdown.

    In the March quarter, the carrier expects its revenue per available seat mile, a key industry metric of how much airlines are making for each seat they fly a mile, to increase 3 to 4 percent in the first quarter from the same period of 2018. The airline previously said it expected revenue to increase as much as 5 percent in the quarter.

    Southwest shares slid more than 4 percent in afternoon trading Wednesday. Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and American Airlines were each down less than 1 percent.

    The 35-day government shutdown, which ended late last month, stalled the launch of new jets and routes, including Southwest's long-awaited service to Hawaii.

    It also meant lost revenue with government workers and contractors not traveling during the impasse.

    Southwest last month estimated the shutdown cost it $10 million to $15 million in revenue in January.

    "Since then, the company has continued to experience softness in passenger demand and bookings as a result of the government shutdown," Southwest said in a filing Wednesday, forecasting the $60 million hit. The amount is small considering its overall revenue. For example, in the fourth quarter, Southwest generated a record $5.7 billion. Analysts expect Southwest to post first-quarter revenue of $5.35 billion, according to FactSet.

    The airline added that it has seen strong last-minute booking demand and fares so far in the first quarter.

    Goldman Sachs downgraded the airline's stock on Wednesday to a sell rating from neutral, saying it would be too costly and that it would have to offer steep discounts to get travelers on board because of the launch's delay.

    Read More<

    Niciun comentariu