Southwest Airlines does not expect to earn a profit in the first quarter, the reason, as with the quarters before, is because of higher fuel costs following Southwest’s missed fuel hedging opportunity last year. More importantly though by far, and the reason for renewed pressure on Southwest shares, is the fact that bookings seem to be weakening. Southwest CFO, Laura Wright said yesterday that fuel prices have been higher than the airline expected — about $3.50 per gallon instead of the $3.35 it had been forecasting. “Fuel unfortunately is the story of the quarter,” Wright said. In January, Southwest expected

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