Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV) has earned an average recommendation of “Buy” from the sixteen research firms that are presently covering the company. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating on the company. The average 12 month price target among brokerages that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $45.35.

A number of research firms have recently weighed in on LUV. Credit Suisse Group AG restated an “outperform” rating on shares of Southwest Airlines in a report on Wednesday, July 6th. Buckingham Research downgraded shares of Southwest Airlines from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, July 22nd. Vetr downgraded shares of Southwest Airlines from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $48.33 target price on the stock. in a report on Wednesday, June 8th. Imperial Capital began coverage on shares of Southwest Airlines in a report on Friday, September 9th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $46.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG restated a “buy” rating and issued a $57.00 target price on shares of Southwest Airlines in a report on Saturday, June 25th.

In other news, SVP Mark R. Shaw sold 1,776 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, July 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $37.62, for a total value of $66,813.12. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 5,226 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $196,602.12. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, COO De Ven Michael G. Van purchased 4,200 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 3rd. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $35.77 per share, with a total value of $150,234.00. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 183,245 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,554,673.65. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 0.18% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

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Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Community Bank & Trust Waco Texas boosted its stake in Southwest Airlines by 6.8% in the first quarter. Community Bank & Trust Waco Texas now owns 52,065 shares of the airline’s stock worth $2,332,000 after buying an additional 3,335 shares during the last quarter. Aperio Group LLC boosted its stake in Southwest Airlines by 10.8% in the first quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 263,666 shares of the airline’s stock worth $11,812,000 after buying an additional 25,777 shares during the last quarter. Telemus Capital LLC purchased a new stake in Southwest Airlines during the first quarter worth approximately $261,000. Apex Capital Management boosted its stake in Southwest Airlines by 0.4% in the first quarter. Apex Capital Management now owns 15,978 shares of the airline’s stock worth $716,000 after buying an additional 65 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Sii Investments Inc. WI boosted its stake in Southwest Airlines by 15.9% in the first quarter. Sii Investments Inc. WI now owns 36,082 shares of the airline’s stock worth $1,617,000 after buying an additional 4,945 shares during the last quarter. 78.34% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) traded down 0.910% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $36.485. 2,057,389 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The firm has a market cap of $22.63 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.678 and a beta of 0.84. Southwest Airlines has a one year low of $33.96 and a one year high of $51.34. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $36.91 and its 200 day moving average price is $40.99.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 21st. The airline reported $1.19 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.21 by $0.02. The company earned $5.38 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.41 billion. Southwest Airlines had a net margin of 11.95% and a return on equity of 34.25%. The business’s revenue was up 5.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.03 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts forecast that Southwest Airlines will post $3.80 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 8th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, August 18th were given a $0.10 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, August 16th. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.09%. Southwest Airlines’s payout ratio is presently 10.61%.

About Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines Co (Southwest) operates Southwest Airlines. Southwest is a passenger airline that provides scheduled air transportation in the United States and near-international markets. The Company serves approximately 100 destinations in over 40 states, such as the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and approximately seven near-international countries, including Mexico, Jamaica, The Bahamas, Aruba, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, and Belize.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:LUV

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