Southwest Airlines' Stock Turns Lower, Erasing Earlier Gains

By Tomi KilgoreMarketsMarketWatch Pulse

Shares of Southwest Airlines Co. turned sharply lower in premarket trade Wednesday, as investors digested third-quarter results, which beat earnings expectations but fell short on sales. The stock slumped 6.7%, after being up as much as 1.3% soon after the results were released. Investors may have turned their focus on the air carrier's outlook, in which it said in the statement that "the overall revenue yield environment remains soft." The company said that based o those trends, and given bookings so far in the quarter, fourth-quarter revenue per available seat mile to decline 4% to 5%. The company also said it expects unit costs to increase in the 4% to 5% range. The stock has lost 2.6% year to date through Tuesday, while the NYSE Arca Airline Index ran up 12% and the S&P 500 gained 4.9%.

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