S&P unit downgrades Southwest Airlines to ‘hold’

(AP Photo/LM Otero, File)
(AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Southwest Airlines has been downgraded by S&P Capital IQ, which cited a recent run-up in the company’s share price and its history of flight delays.

S&P lowered the share to “Hold” from “Buy,” but it raised forecasts for 2014 and 2015 earnings on strong travel demand.

Dallas-based Southwest, which also operates AirTran Airways, reported this week that a key revenue figure jumped more than 8 percent in the second quarter, compared with a year earlier. That has raised expectations for a strong second quarter to follow the company’s $152 million profit in the first quarter.

Southwest ranked behind Delta Air Lines, US Airways, JetBlue, American and United in the most recent government figures for on-time arrivals.

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