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Southwest Airlines posts net profit in Q4 2011

After falling to an unprecedented pretax loss of $226 in the third quarter of 2011, Dallas based Southwest Airlines once again returned to net profitability, earning $152 million, or 20 cents per diluted share.

Revenue grew 32% to $4.1 billion, while operating expenses grew 37% (with fuel and related expenses jumping 59) (All figures vs. Q4 2011.

Southwest’s performance beat analyst’s estimates significantly and topped the net income of $132 million from last years fourth quarter.

Full year profit dropped from $459 million in 2010 to $178 million in 2011. However, this figure was good enough to maintain Southwest’s record-setting 39 year streak of continuous profitability.

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