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April 24, 2014

Southwest posts $152 million profit for the first quarter

Wright Amendment one year away 27Southwest Airlines said its net income more than doubled to $152 million in the first quarter even though it canceled more than 7,500 flights due to winter storms.

The Dallas-based carrier said revenues grew 2 percent to $4.16 billion as passengers paid slightly higher fares on fuller flights. However, severe winter storms cost the carrier about $50 million.

"Our first quarter 2014 earnings performance is a superb start to the year," said chief executive Gary Kelly in a statement. "Second quarter 2014, benefiting from the Easter and Passover holidays, also is off to a great start, with strong bookings, favorable revenue trends, and stable fuel prices."

Southwest is also almost finished with its integration of AirTran Airways which it purchased in 2011. The carrier expects to convert all of AirTran's remaining airplanes and markets to Southwest, allowing it to retire the AirTran brand by the end of the year.

Not including one-time accounting items, Southwest said its profits were $126 million or 18 cents a share, beating Wall Street analysts' earning estimates of 16 cents a share.

Kelly and other Southwest executives will discuss the earnings results on a conference call with analysts at 11:30 a.m. CDT.

-Andrea Ahles

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