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Two from Fort Worth appointed by Gov. Abbott to university boards

Steve Hicks, a University of Texas System regent who has been a vocal opponent of regents who have criticized the system’s flagship campus in Austin, was reappointed to the board by Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday. 

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Fort Worth draws closer to deal with Lancaster developer

City staff are planning to introduce the developer Feb. 3 at a meeting of the City Council's Housing and Economic Development Committee.

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Compass BBVA names Happel CEO for Fort Worth

BBVA Compass has appointed Brian Happel, most recently the Fort Worth city president, its chief executive officer of Fort Worth.

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Two Fort Worth Baylor medical properties acquired

Baylor Surgical Hospital of Fort Worth and Baylor Surgical Hospital Integrated Medical Facility are among three facilities acquired by Carter Validus Mission Critical REIT II Inc.

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Fort Worth minority business receives nationwide grant

Cuevas Distribution Inc., a minority- and woman-owned business in Fort Worth, is one of 20 small businesses nationwide to receive a $150,000 grant from Chase as part of the Mission Main Street program.

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Southwest profit up on higher fares, cheaper fuel
 

DAVID KOENIG, AP Airlines Writer
 
DALLAS (AP) — Average fares are rising on Southwest Airlines Co., the fuel bill is shrinking, and profit is soaring.
 
The airline is gearing up for the holiday travel season, and officials say that bookings for November and December are strong.
 
Southwest's results are adding detail to the emerging picture of an airline industry that is continuing to rebound from the 2008 recession. Mergers have reduced the number of competitors, and the remaining airlines are boosting fares by controlling growth and limiting seats.
 
Southwest said Thursday that third-quarter net income jumped to $259 million, or 37 cents per share, from $16 million, or 2 cents per share, a year earlier.
 
Excluding special items such as fuel-hedging and costs of folding AirTran Airways into Southwest, the company said it would have earned 34 cents per share. That matched analysts' forecast of adjusted profit.
 
Revenue rose 5.5 percent to a record $4.55 billion. Analysts were expecting $4.54 billion, according to FactSet.
The average one-way fare on Southwest increased 11.3 percent, to $159.39. Partly that could reflect longer flights — the average trip was 1,000 miles, an increase of 41 miles or 4.3 percent.
 
The airline is also getting a break on fuel. It paid a few cents less per gallon and consumed 12 million fewer gallons of fuel than a year ago. The combination reduced Southwest's biggest expense by 5.1 percent, to $1.45 billion.
 
That was helpful because the second-largest expense, labor, rose 6.9 percent to $1.27 billion.
 
The third quarter includes the last two months of the busy summer travel season, so it's a strong period for airlines. Even with higher fares than last year, Southwest was able to fill 80.8 percent of its seats, although that was down from 82.1 percent in summer 2012.
When summer vacations end, travel drops off in the fall and winter, but Southwest is hinting at a busy holiday season. Chairman and CEO Gary Kelly said the recent partial government shutdown affected revenue but added that bookings for November and December were strong.
 
Kelly called the third-quarter results "very solid," and said that his airline — once known as a scrappy underdog to the giants, but now the fourth-biggest U.S. carrier — was transforming itself for the future.
 
Southwest is converting more AirTran flights to its own colors and brand, and expects to fully absorb AirTran by the end of 2014. The conversion includes using Southwest planes on international flights beginning next year.
 
In trading before the stock market's opening, Southwest shares were up 48 cents, or 2.9 percent, to $16.89.

 

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