Hennessy Advisors Inc. lowered its position in Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV) by 7.1% in the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 36,800 shares of the airline’s stock after selling 2,800 shares during the quarter. Hennessy Advisors Inc.’s holdings in Southwest Airlines were worth $2,287,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in LUV. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in Southwest Airlines by 4,163.3% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 34,983,319 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $1,880,703,000 after acquiring an additional 34,162,752 shares during the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. lifted its stake in Southwest Airlines by 80.3% in the first quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 7,809,175 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $419,796,000 after acquiring an additional 3,477,912 shares during the last quarter. Egerton Capital UK LLP raised its position in shares of Southwest Airlines by 39.0% in the first quarter. Egerton Capital UK LLP now owns 9,401,341 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $505,416,000 after purchasing an additional 2,638,743 shares during the period. Boston Partners bought a new position in shares of Southwest Airlines in the second quarter valued at about $153,454,000. Finally, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB publ raised its position in shares of Southwest Airlines by 8,363.9% in the first quarter. Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB publ now owns 1,852,840 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $99,609,000 after purchasing an additional 1,830,949 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 79.42% of the company’s stock.
Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV) opened at 52.87 on Monday. The company has a market capitalization of $31.65 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.21 and a beta of 1.29. Southwest Airlines Company has a 52-week low of $36.31 and a 52-week high of $64.39. The company’s 50-day moving average is $54.42 and its 200-day moving average is $57.04.
Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The airline reported $1.24 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.20 by $0.04. Southwest Airlines had a return on equity of 26.07% and a net margin of 9.63%. The business had revenue of $5.74 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.73 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $1.19 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 6.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts expect that Southwest Airlines Company will post $3.76 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Southwest Airlines announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback plan on Wednesday, May 17th that authorizes the company to buyback $2.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the airline to purchase up to 5.8% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 14th. Investors of record on Thursday, August 24th will be paid a $0.125 dividend. This represents a $0.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.95%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, August 22nd. Southwest Airlines’s dividend payout ratio is currently 15.34%.
Several equities analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $67.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, June 13th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Southwest Airlines from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, June 9th. Vetr raised shares of Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $63.80 price objective on the stock in a research report on Monday, June 5th. Argus raised shares of Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their price objective for the company from $61.76 to $68.00 in a research report on Thursday, June 22nd. Finally, Wolfe Research raised shares of Southwest Airlines from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, August 18th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating, twelve have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $66.10.
In related news, Director William H. Dr Cunningham purchased 4,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 11th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $54.00 per share, for a total transaction of $243,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 66,969 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,616,326. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Insiders own 0.21% of the company’s stock.
About Southwest Airlines
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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