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Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) COO De Ven Michael G. Van sold 78,907 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $31.29, for a total value of $2,469,000.03. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 194,802 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,095,355. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link.

Several analysts have recently commented on the stock. Analysts at Zacks reiterated an “outperform” rating on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research note on Friday, August 8th. They now have a $34.00 price target on the stock. Separately, analysts at Argus raised their price target on shares of Southwest Airlines from $28.00 to $34.00 in a research note on Thursday, July 31st. They now have a “buy” rating on the stock. Finally, analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised their price target on shares of Southwest Airlines from $26.00 to $29.50 in a research note on Thursday, July 31st. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Southwest Airlines presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $31.71.

Shares of Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) traded up 2.02% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $31.87. The stock had a trading volume of 6,441,173 shares. Southwest Airlines has a 52 week low of $12.64 and a 52 week high of $32.12. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $28.68 and its 200-day moving average is $25.38. The company has a market cap of $21.835 billion and a P/E ratio of 20.19.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 24th. The company reported $0.70 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the analysts’ consensus estimate of $0.60 by $0.10. The company had revenue of $5.01 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.92 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.38 earnings per share. Southwest Airlines’s revenue was up 7.9% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that Southwest Airlines will post $1.78 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which is scheduled for Friday, September 12th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, August 21st will be paid a dividend of $0.06 per share. This represents a $0.24 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.75%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, August 19th.

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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