Southwest Airlines Predicts Higher Fuel Costs In First Quarter

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Southwest Airlines Co. on Wednesday predicted fuel costs for the first quarter to be higher than initially expected. In response to the rebound in oil prices, the airline said it now sees fuel costs of about $2 a gallon, up 10 cents from its January forecast. In its fourth-quarter earnings report in January, Southwest said dramatically cheaper fuel prices had helped its earnings decline less than expected and should continue to drive profits in 2015 as well. In the release on Wednesday, the airline confirmed its outlook for passenger revenues for the first quarter 2015 of 6%-7% growth, compared with the same quarter last year. Southwest shares were unchanged ahead of the open.

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