Southwest Airlines’ (LUV) “Overweight” Rating Reaffirmed at Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley reaffirmed their overweight rating on shares of Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV) in a report released on Tuesday.

A number of other research analysts have also weighed in on the stock. Wolfe Research lowered shares of Southwest Airlines from an outperform rating to a market perform rating and set a $63.00 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Monday, July 10th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. BidaskClub lowered shares of Southwest Airlines from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 12th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Southwest Airlines from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $70.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, July 4th. Sanford C. Bernstein reaffirmed an outperform rating and issued a $70.00 price objective on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research note on Thursday, July 13th. Finally, Bank of America Corporation raised their price objective on shares of Southwest Airlines from $62.00 to $75.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Friday, June 30th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating, eleven have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $67.30.

Shares of Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) opened at 53.95 on Tuesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $32.29 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.54 and a beta of 1.29. The company’s 50 day moving average is $54.23 and its 200-day moving average is $57.00. Southwest Airlines has a one year low of $36.31 and a one year high of $64.39.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The airline reported $1.24 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.20 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $5.74 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.73 billion. Southwest Airlines had a net margin of 9.63% and a return on equity of 26.07%. Southwest Airlines’s revenue was up 6.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.19 earnings per share. Equities analysts expect that Southwest Airlines will post $3.73 EPS for the current year.

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The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 14th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, August 24th will be issued a $0.125 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, August 22nd. This represents a $0.50 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.93%. Southwest Airlines’s dividend payout ratio is currently 15.34%.

Southwest Airlines announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback plan on Wednesday, May 17th that permits the company to repurchase $2.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the airline to buy up to 5.8% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

In other news, Director William H. Dr Cunningham bought 4,500 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 11th. The stock was bought at an average price of $54.00 per share, for a total transaction of $243,000.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now directly owns 66,969 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,616,326. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 0.21% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America increased its holdings in Southwest Airlines by 0.6% during the first quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America now owns 2,374 shares of the airline’s stock worth $128,000 after buying an additional 15 shares during the last quarter. Buckingham Asset Management LLC increased its holdings in Southwest Airlines by 0.3% during the first quarter. Buckingham Asset Management LLC now owns 5,690 shares of the airline’s stock worth $306,000 after buying an additional 16 shares during the last quarter. Bank of Hawaii increased its holdings in Southwest Airlines by 0.3% during the first quarter. Bank of Hawaii now owns 12,867 shares of the airline’s stock worth $692,000 after buying an additional 35 shares during the last quarter. Stonebridge Capital Advisors LLC increased its holdings in Southwest Airlines by 0.6% during the second quarter. Stonebridge Capital Advisors LLC now owns 6,356 shares of the airline’s stock worth $395,000 after buying an additional 35 shares during the last quarter. Finally, First Heartland Consultants Inc. increased its holdings in Southwest Airlines by 0.3% during the first quarter. First Heartland Consultants Inc. now owns 16,293 shares of the airline’s stock worth $876,000 after buying an additional 43 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 79.42% of the company’s stock.

Southwest Airlines 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.

Analyst Recommendations for Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV)

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