6-Mar-2013 4:42 PM

Southwest Airlines to grow capacity by 2% in 2013, ROIC to increase to 15% in 2013

Southwest Airlines senior VP finance and CFO Tammy Romo stated (04-Mar-2013) capacity (ASMs) is forecast to increase by approximately 2% in 2013, with the carrier noting it is focussed on “aggressive management of invested capital base”. Return on invested capital (pre-tax) is forecast to increase from 7% in 2012 to 15% in 2013. Ms Romo also noted 2013 capital spending is expected to be in the USD1.2 billion range. So far in 2013, the company has repurchased 9 million shares of Southwest Airlines for USD100 million. She noted: “That brings our programme to date under the USD1 billion authorisation programme to 82 million shares repurchased for USD725 million, and that gives you an average programme price per share of about USD8.85”. She continued: “As we continue to aggressively manage our invested capital base, we have prepaid approximately USD39 million of AirTran aircraft bad debt so far this year, which will bring our planned debt payments for 2013 to USD220 million. Leverage currently is still in the low 40% range and, of course, we maintain our investment grade credit rating. We'll continue to look for opportunities to aggressively manage invested capital and, of course, enhance shareholder value”. [more - original PR - Transcipt] [more - original PR - presentation]

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