Dec. 8, 2021, 6:53 a.m. EST

Southwest Airlines stock rallies after revenue outlook raised, fuel cost estimate cut

Shares of Southwest Airlines Co. (NYS:LUV) surged 1.3% in premarket trading Wednesday, after the air carrier raised its outlook for fourth-quarter revenue and cut its estimate for fuel costs. The company now expects revenue for the current quarter to be down 10% to 15% from the same period in pre-pandemic 2019, compared with previous guidance for a decline of 15% to 25%. Guidance for fuel costs per gallon was lowered $2.15 to $2.25 from $2.25 to $2.35. The company kept its outlook for load factor unchanged at 80% to 85% and for capacity to be down about 8% from 2019. "Leisure travel demand was strong for the Thanksgiving holiday," the company said in an investor presentation. "Based on current trends, leisure bookings continue to come in above expectations for December travel, and managed business revenues are expected to recover to down 55% to down 60% in December versus 2019 levels." The stock, which has bounced 6.3% since closing at a 13-month low on Dec. 1 through Tuesday, has shed 6.1% over the past three months while the U.S. Global Jets ETF (PSE:JETS) has lost 5.9% and the S&P 500 (S&P:SPX) has gained 3.8%.

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