Nuts, Southwest

Southwest Airlines's stock is taking a beating today -- down $1.90 at last check, to $7.91, following an analyst's decision to downgrade the stock to "sell" from "underperform." That follows yesterday's announcement that, for the second quarter in a row, the Dallas-based carrier posted a loss -- even though it was still up in 2008, for the 36th year in a row.

So why the downgrade? Has a little something to do with plans to "suspend indefinitely" the airline's future growth --except at Love Field, of course. Says Calyon Securities analyst Ray Neidl, the man advising investors to take the money and run, "Management faces a challenge in keeping unit costs under control as growth grinds to a halt." But in very related news: Fare wars!

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky