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Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) was upgraded by research analysts at Argus from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Tuesday, TheFlyOnTheWall.com reports. The firm currently has a $28.00 target price on the stock. Argus’ target price suggests a potential upside of 22.70% from the stock’s previous close.

The analysts wrote, “generally favorable economic conditions, positive fuel price trends, increased ancillary revenue, fleet upgrades, and soon-to-be launched international flights.” Staszak raised the 2014 earnings per share estimate from $1.24 to $1.50, and established a 2015 EPS estimate of $1.80. The estimated five-year EPS growth rate remained at 13 percent. Southwest has “achieved its goal of $400 million in net synergies” from the Airtran acquisition, said Staszak To enhance ancillary revenue, “Southwest plans to sell select boarding positions, raise exiting fees, and avoid fare wars,”

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) traded up 1.73% on Tuesday, hitting $22.90. The stock had a trading volume of 8,620,670 shares. Southwest Airlines has a one year low of $12.58 and a one year high of $24.45. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $23.31 and its 200-day moving average is $19.81. The company has a market cap of $16.076 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.36.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, January 22nd. The company reported $0.33 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $0.29 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $4.40 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.39 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.09 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 6.1% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that Southwest Airlines will post $1.42 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Several other analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Analysts at Goldman Sachs raised their price target on shares of Southwest Airlines from $24.20 to $26.00 in a research note on Monday, April 7th. Separately, analysts at Barclays raised their price target on shares of Southwest Airlines from $26.00 to $28.00 in a research note on Friday, April 4th. They now have an “overweight” rating on the stock. Finally, analysts at Morgan Stanley reiterated an “underweight” rating on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research note on Monday, March 24th. They now have a $21.00 price target on the stock, down previously from $23.00. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $23.68.

Southwest Airlines Co operates Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways, passenger airlines that provide scheduled air transportation in the United States and near-international markets.

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