The airline is making money as more people travel on the nation's largest discount airline. Southwest said Thursday it earned $205 million in the July-through-September quarter. Traffic was up about 5 percent, which along with higher average fares pushed revenue up 20 percent.
More flights and higher fares quadrupled third-quarter earnings. Income in that quarter alone topped what it made all of last year. The company earned $59 million, or 18 cents per share, in the three months ended Sept. 30 — usually the best quarter of the year because it includes the busy summer travel season. A year ago, JetBlue earned $15 million, or 5 cents per share.
United & Continental
Both airlines posted third-quarter profits in their last quarter as independent companies, reversing losses from a year earlier as they benefited from rising traveler demand and higher fares. United Airlines had a profit of $387 million, or $1.75 per share. A year earlier it lost $57 million. Continental turned a profit of $354 million, or $2.16 per share. A year earlier it lost $18 million.
McDonald's: Frappes, smoothies and dollar menu items drew in the highest customer count in more than two decades to push the world's largest burger chain's net income up 10 percent in the third quarter. Results beat estimates and shares rose early Thursday to an all-time high of $79.48. For the three months ending Sept. 30, McDonald's earned $1.39 billion, or $1.29 per share, up from $1.26 billion, or $1.15 per share, last year. Revenue rose 4.3 percent to $6.3 billion.
Amazon: The online retail site said its third-quarter net income rose 16 percent as more shoppers flocked to the site. The results were well ahead of analyst expectations. For the July-September quarter, Amazon earned $231 million, or 51 cents per share — 3 cents higher than what analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected, on average. This compares with income of $199 million, or 45 cents per share, a year ago. Revenue rose 39 percent to $7.56 billion, higher than the $7.36 billion analysts expected.
Hershey: The maker of Reese's peanut butter cups and Twizzlers said its third-quarter net income rose 9 percent and the company raised its full-year guidance. The candymaker said its net income for the three months ended Oct. 3 totaled $182.9 million, or 79 cents per share. That's up from $168.5 million, or 73 cents per share, and matches the 79 cents per share analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, on average, predicted.
United Parcel Service: The package delivery giant earned $991 million, or 99 cents per share, in the third quarter. A year earlier, UPS earned $549 million, or 55 cents per share. Revenue rose 9 percent to $12.19 billion.
Another batch of quarterly earnings rolled in for some of the largest U.S. companies on Thursday, and again, the results were generally strong. Major U.S. markets edged up in response. However, solid corporate financial returns have yet to translate to the broader economy, with companies still reluctant to hire and the nation's unemployment rate hovering near 10 percent. Here's a roundup of quarterly earnings for some top companies. Associated Press