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

Shares of Southwest Airlines Co (NYSE:LUV) have been given a consensus rating of “Buy” by the twenty ratings firms that are currently covering the stock, MarketBeat reports. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and fourteen have given a buy rating to the company. The average twelve-month price objective among brokers that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $67.99.

A number of research analysts recently issued reports on LUV shares. ValuEngine cut shares of Southwest Airlines from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 3rd. Vetr cut shares of Southwest Airlines from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $59.16 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Wednesday, October 4th. Barclays reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $61.00 price objective on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research note on Thursday, September 14th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, September 20th. Finally, Raymond James Financial raised shares of Southwest Airlines from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $65.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, September 20th.

Shares of Southwest Airlines (LUV) traded down $0.33 on Monday, hitting $63.99. 2,586,424 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 4,630,000. Southwest Airlines has a 12 month low of $48.71 and a 12 month high of $66.99. The company has a market capitalization of $37,960.00, a PE ratio of 18.34, a PEG ratio of 1.66 and a beta of 1.35. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.46, a current ratio of 0.61 and a quick ratio of 0.55.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The airline reported $0.88 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.01. Southwest Airlines had a net margin of 10.12% and a return on equity of 24.85%. The company had revenue of $5.27 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.29 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.93 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.6% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts forecast that Southwest Airlines will post 3.57 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, January 4th. Investors of record on Thursday, December 7th were paid a dividend of $0.125 per share. This represents a $0.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.78%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, December 6th. Southwest Airlines’s dividend payout ratio is presently 14.33%.

In other Southwest Airlines news, EVP Robert E. Jordan sold 32,931 shares of Southwest Airlines stock in a transaction on Thursday, December 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $64.38, for a total value of $2,120,097.78. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 76,993 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,956,809.34. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director John T. Montford sold 935 shares of Southwest Airlines stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.94, for a total transaction of $50,433.90. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 25,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,348,500. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 35,593 shares of company stock valued at $2,279,660 in the last three months. 0.21% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. BB&T Investment Services Inc. increased its stake in Southwest Airlines by 325.5% in the third quarter. BB&T Investment Services Inc. now owns 1,583 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $110,000 after purchasing an additional 1,211 shares in the last quarter. Pittenger & Anderson Inc. increased its position in shares of Southwest Airlines by 13.5% during the second quarter. Pittenger & Anderson Inc. now owns 2,100 shares of the airline’s stock worth $130,000 after acquiring an additional 250 shares in the last quarter. Grove Bank & Trust increased its position in shares of Southwest Airlines by 365.0% during the third quarter. Grove Bank & Trust now owns 2,395 shares of the airline’s stock worth $134,000 after acquiring an additional 1,880 shares in the last quarter. Harfst & Associates Inc. increased its position in shares of Southwest Airlines by 43.8% during the second quarter. Harfst & Associates Inc. now owns 2,402 shares of the airline’s stock worth $149,000 after acquiring an additional 732 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Smith Moore & CO. bought a new stake in shares of Southwest Airlines during the third quarter worth about $206,000. 78.55% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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.

Analyst Recommendations for Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV)

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