Wed. Mar 3rd, 2021

Dallas (AP) – Southwest The airline company said it incurred a $ 3.1 billion loss in 2020 on Thursday, its first-year loss since its opening in 1972, and said a higher number of newly reported cases of booking COVID-19 earlier this year Has stopped due to United States of america.

Southwest has predicted that January revenue will fall 65% to 70% compared to the same month last year, and February revenue will fall 65% to 75%.

The Dallas-based airline reported a loss of $ 908 million in the fourth quarter, compared with a profit of $ 514 million in the same quarter last year.

New US cases of COVID-19 have decreased in recent weeks. With the rollout of the new vaccines, which the airline and others are giving to the travel industry, improvements are expected this summer. However, companies are concerned with new restrictions against international travel and new variants of COVID-19.

Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said in a statement, “The travel and tourism industries are facing a changing environment as an epidemic.” “While vaccine availability should mark the beginning of the end of this epidemic, current passenger booking trends do not indicate significant improvement through March.”

Southwest expects to lose $ 10 million to $ 15 million a day in the first quarter after burning about $ 15 million a day in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Southwest said its fourth-quarter loss came to $ 1.29 per share, excluding non-repeating costs. It was not as bad as Wall Street. The average estimate of 13 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for a loss of $ 1.69 per share.

Analysts in the Zacks fell $ 65% to 2.01 billion, falling short of the average $ 2.12 billion forecast.

Southwest shares rose about 6% before regular trading began. Through Wednesday, the shares have lost slightly more than 5% in 2021, while the S&P 500 index has remained nearly flat. Southwest has dropped 22% in the last 12 months.

Elements of this story were generated by automated insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on LUV at https://www.zacks.com/ap/LUV

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