Southwest Airlines Co (NYSE:LUV)‘s stock had its “outperform” rating reissued by stock analysts at Imperial Capital in a note issued to investors on Friday.

Other research analysts also recently issued reports about the company. Vetr upgraded Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $60.24 target price on the stock in a research note on Thursday, March 30th. Deutsche Bank AG lifted their target price on Southwest Airlines from $63.00 to $65.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, April 28th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded Southwest Airlines from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $55.00 target price on the stock. in a research note on Wednesday, January 25th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Cowen and Company lifted their target price on Southwest Airlines from $58.00 to $62.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, April 28th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $50.00 target price on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research note on Friday, March 3rd. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, ten have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. Southwest Airlines has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $55.25.

Analyst Recommendations for Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV)

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) opened at 58.04 on Friday. The firm has a market capitalization of $35.09 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.41 and a beta of 0.88. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $56.19 and a 200-day moving average price of $52.34. Southwest Airlines has a one year low of $35.42 and a one year high of $59.68.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, April 27th. The airline reported $0.61 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.62 by $0.01. Southwest Airlines had a net margin of 10.97% and a return on equity of 29.79%. The company had revenue of $4.88 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.91 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.88 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.2% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts anticipate that Southwest Airlines will post $3.82 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, June 28th. Investors of record on Wednesday, June 7th will be issued a dividend of $0.125 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, June 5th. This is a boost from Southwest Airlines’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.10. This represents a $0.50 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.87%. Southwest Airlines’s payout ratio is currently 11.33%.

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In related news, Chairman Gary C. Kelly sold 21,300 shares of Southwest Airlines stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.25, for a total transaction of $1,219,425.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 619,456 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $35,463,856. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, EVP Jeff Lamb sold 18,299 shares of Southwest Airlines stock in a transaction on Friday, February 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.87, for a total value of $1,058,963.13. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 131,695 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,621,189.65. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 123,626 shares of company stock valued at $7,104,347. 0.18% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of Southwest Airlines by 0.7% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 38,498,787 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $2,069,695,000 after buying an additional 286,456 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in Southwest Airlines by 4,163.3% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 34,983,319 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $1,880,703,000 after buying an additional 34,162,752 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp increased its position in Southwest Airlines by 1.5% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 23,480,558 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $1,262,308,000 after buying an additional 353,960 shares during the last quarter. Egerton Capital UK LLP increased its position in Southwest Airlines by 39.0% in the first quarter. Egerton Capital UK LLP now owns 9,401,341 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $505,416,000 after buying an additional 2,638,743 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Ameriprise Financial Inc. increased its position in Southwest Airlines by 80.3% in the first quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 7,809,175 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $419,796,000 after buying an additional 3,477,912 shares during the last quarter. 76.70% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Southwest Airlines Company Profile

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.

12 Month Chart for NYSE:LUV

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