NEW YORK (TheStreet) --Southwest Airlines (LUV) - Get Report posted mixed 2016 third-quarter earnings results prior to Wednesday's opening bell. The Dallas-based airline reported earnings of 93 cents per share, above analysts' expectations of 88 cents per share. Revenue came in at $5.14 billion, falling below Wall Street's expected $5.16 billion.
"It was a pretty interesting quarter," Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said on CNBC's "Squawk Box" Wednesday. "We had a technology outage in July, that was anticipated by everybody, but we came in right in line with what we expected."
"We have tough year-over-year comparisons, so without the technology outage our unit revenues were down in the 3.5% range, and it looks like those trends are going to continue here in the fourth-quarter," he added.
However, despite the headwinds in this most recent quarter and the increased competitiveness of the market, he called the results solid.
Southwest had "really strong earnings and return on capital so we're in a very strong position," Kelly noted. "We still have really strong profits, still investing in the business, still growing, but we're slowing our growth for next year to enable us to target hitting positive unit revenue growth."
Shares of Southwest Airlines were plummeting by 10.95% to $75.35 during early morning trading on Wednesday.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.
The team rates Southwest Airlines as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, the team feels they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.
You can view the full analysis from the report here: LUV