Southwest Airlines (LUV) Downgraded to “Market Perform” at Cowen

Cowen lowered shares of Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) from an outperform rating to a market perform rating in a research report sent to investors on Thursday, Marketbeat.com reports. They currently have $54.00 price target on the airline’s stock, down from their previous price target of $65.00.

A number of other research firms have also weighed in on LUV. Buckingham Research lowered their target price on Southwest Airlines from $73.00 to $65.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research note on Friday, October 26th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Southwest Airlines from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, October 11th. Morgan Stanley set a $68.00 price target on Southwest Airlines and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Friday, October 5th. Macquarie set a $67.00 price target on Southwest Airlines and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Monday, October 8th. Finally, Raymond James lowered their price target on Southwest Airlines from $68.00 to $60.00 and set an outperform rating for the company in a research report on Friday, October 26th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and fourteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $61.56.

NYSE LUV opened at $48.52 on Thursday. Southwest Airlines has a 1-year low of $44.28 and a 1-year high of $66.52. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.47, a current ratio of 0.71 and a quick ratio of 0.65. The stock has a market capitalization of $27.60 billion, a PE ratio of 13.86, a P/E/G ratio of 0.92 and a beta of 1.31.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last released its earnings results on Thursday, October 25th. The airline reported $1.08 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.06 by $0.02. Southwest Airlines had a return on equity of 22.27% and a net margin of 17.18%. The company had revenue of $5.58 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.56 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.88 EPS. Equities research analysts forecast that Southwest Airlines will post 4.13 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, January 2nd. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, December 5th were given a dividend of $0.16 per share. This represents a $0.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.32%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, December 4th. Southwest Airlines’s payout ratio is 18.29%.

In other Southwest Airlines news, Director John T. Montford sold 980 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, December 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.27, for a total transaction of $50,244.60. Following the transaction, the director now owns 20,983 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,075,798.41. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director John T. Montford sold 956 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.35, for a total value of $50,046.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.23% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Primecap Management Co. CA grew its holdings in shares of Southwest Airlines by 0.3% during the 3rd quarter. Primecap Management Co. CA now owns 73,955,888 shares of the airline’s stock worth $4,618,545,000 after acquiring an additional 241,557 shares during the period. FMR LLC grew its holdings in shares of Southwest Airlines by 11.8% during the 3rd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 12,725,686 shares of the airline’s stock worth $794,719,000 after acquiring an additional 1,343,228 shares during the period. AQR Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Southwest Airlines by 1.4% during the 3rd quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 5,195,142 shares of the airline’s stock worth $324,436,000 after acquiring an additional 71,503 shares during the period. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Southwest Airlines by 110.8% during the 3rd quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 3,496,061 shares of the airline’s stock worth $218,329,000 after acquiring an additional 1,837,517 shares during the period. Finally, Morgan Stanley grew its holdings in shares of Southwest Airlines by 37.8% during the 2nd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 3,167,424 shares of the airline’s stock worth $161,158,000 after acquiring an additional 868,643 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 79.43% of the company’s stock.

About Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines Co operates a passenger airline that provides scheduled air transportation services in the United States and near-international markets. As of December 31, 2017, the company operated a total of 706 Boeing 737 aircraft; and served 100 destinations in 40 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, as well as 10 near-international countries, including Mexico, Jamaica, the Bahamas, Aruba, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Belize, Cuba, the Cayman Islands, and Turks and Caicos.

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Analyst Recommendations for Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV)

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