Southwest Airlines Company (LUV) Receives Consensus Recommendation of “Buy” from Analysts

Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV) has earned an average recommendation of “Buy” from the twenty analysts that are covering the stock, Marketbeat reports. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have given a buy rating to the company. The average 1 year target price among brokers that have covered the stock in the last year is $59.38.

LUV has been the subject of several research reports. Morgan Stanley reiterated an “overweight” rating on shares of Southwest Airlines Company in a research note on Friday, April 7th. Vetr upgraded Southwest Airlines Company from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $63.80 target price for the company in a research note on Monday, June 5th. ValuEngine upgraded Southwest Airlines Company from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. Cowen and Company raised their target price on Southwest Airlines Company from $58.00 to $62.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, April 28th. Finally, Imperial Capital raised their target price on Southwest Airlines Company from $63.00 to $68.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, April 28th.

In related news, Chairman Gary C. Kelly sold 51,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.06, for a total transaction of $2,910,060.00. Following the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 556,808 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $31,771,464.48. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, CFO Tammy Romo sold 8,322 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $59.15, for a total value of $492,246.30. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 87,387 shares in the company, valued at $5,168,941.05. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 118,740 shares of company stock worth $6,923,568. 0.18% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in LUV. Cim Investment Mangement Inc. boosted its position in shares of Southwest Airlines Company by 1.2% in the fourth quarter. Cim Investment Mangement Inc. now owns 18,882 shares of the airline’s stock worth $941,000 after buying an additional 231 shares during the period. Total Investment Management Inc. bought a new position in shares of Southwest Airlines Company during the fourth quarter worth approximately $493,000. Bluestein R H & Co. bought a new position in shares of Southwest Airlines Company during the fourth quarter worth approximately $34,846,000. Credit Agricole S A boosted its position in shares of Southwest Airlines Company by 30.5% in the fourth quarter. Credit Agricole S A now owns 384,452 shares of the airline’s stock worth $19,161,000 after buying an additional 89,846 shares during the period. Finally, Impala Asset Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Southwest Airlines Company during the fourth quarter worth approximately $3,751,000. 80.58% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV) traded down 0.97% during trading on Tuesday, reaching $60.33. 4,835,957 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. Southwest Airlines Company has a 12 month low of $35.42 and a 12 month high of $61.24. The firm has a market cap of $36.48 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.10 and a beta of 1.26. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $59.04 and its 200-day moving average price is $54.70.

Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 27th. The airline reported $0.61 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.62 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $4.88 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.91 billion. Southwest Airlines Company had a return on equity of 26.75% and a net margin of 10.16%. The firm’s revenue was up 1.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.88 EPS. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Southwest Airlines Company will post $3.84 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, June 28th. Investors of record on Wednesday, June 7th will be issued a dividend of $0.125 per share. This represents a $0.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.83%. This is a boost from Southwest Airlines Company’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.10. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, June 5th. Southwest Airlines Company’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 15.11%.

Southwest Airlines Company Company Profile

Southwest Airlines Co (Southwest) operates Southwest Airlines, a passenger airline that provides scheduled air transportation in the United States and near-international markets. The Company provides point-to-point service. The Company offers ancillary service offerings, such as Southwest’s EarlyBird Check-In and transportation of pets and unaccompanied minors, in accordance with Southwest’s respective policies.

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