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Southwest Airlines posts a record 1Q profit

DALLAS (AP) -- Southwest Airlines says it made a record $152 million in the first quarter, more than doubling the $59 million profit it had during the same time last year.

The strong profit during a time of year that is traditionally the slowest for airlines is good news for the Dallas-based carrier, which has been struggling to integrate AirTran into its system following its 2010 acquisition.

Southwest made 22 cents per share, up from 8 cents per share in the same period last year. Excluding special items, the gain was 18 cents per share, beating the 16 cents expected by Wall Street analysts surveyed by FactSet.

Revenue climbed 2 percent to $4.17 billion _ just shy of the $4.18 billion Wall Street predicted.

Shares rose 3.7 percent to $24.98 in premarket trading.

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