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Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) was upgraded by analysts at Stifel Nicolaus from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday, TheFlyOnTheWall.com reports. The firm currently has a $30.00 target price on the stock. Stifel Nicolaus’ target price suggests a potential upside of 14.94% from the stock’s previous close. The analysts noted that the move was a valuation call.

LUV has been the subject of a number of other recent research reports. Analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised their price target on shares of Southwest Airlines from $21.00 to $21.50 in a research note on Tuesday, May 27th. They now have an “underweight” rating on the stock. Separately, analysts at Zacks upgraded shares of Southwest Airlines from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, May 16th. They now have a $30.00 price target on the stock. Finally, analysts at Imperial Capital raised their price target on shares of Southwest Airlines from $26.00 to $30.00 in a research note on Tuesday, May 6th. They now have an “outperform” rating on the stock. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the company. Southwest Airlines presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $26.39.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) traded up 1.63% on Tuesday, hitting $26.525. 2,751,956 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. Southwest Airlines has a one year low of $12.58 and a one year high of $27.70. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $25.5 and a 200-day moving average of $22.51. The company has a market cap of $18.351 billion and a P/E ratio of 21.84.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 24th. The company reported $0.18 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $0.17 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $4.17 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.17 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.07 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 2.0% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that Southwest Airlines will post $1.51 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which is scheduled for Wednesday, June 25th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, June 4th will be paid a dividend of $0.06 per share. This represents a $0.24 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.92%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, June 2nd. This is a positive change from Southwest Airlines’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.04.

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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