Southwest load factor falls more than expected
Southwest Airlines Co. reported Tuesday fourth-quarter load factor that fell more than expected, as growth in the supply of seats outpaced the rise in demand. The air carrier's stock was still inactive in premarket trade. Load factor fell to 83.5% from 85.0% in the same period a year ago, missed the FactSet consensus of 84.8%. Capacity increased 6.5% to 40.37 billion available seat miles while traffic rose 4.7% to 33.72 billion revenue passenger miles. The company is expected to report full fourth-quarter results on Jan. 24. The stock has tumbled 21% over the past three months, while the NYSE Arca Airline Index has lost 6.7% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has declined 11.2%. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.