Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV) has been given a $64.00 target price by investment analysts at Morgan Stanley in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday. The brokerage currently has a “buy” rating on the airline’s stock. Morgan Stanley’s price target points to a potential upside of 15.71% from the company’s previous close.

LUV has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Cowen and Company restated a “buy” rating and issued a $67.00 price objective on shares of Southwest Airlines in a report on Friday, July 28th. BidaskClub cut shares of Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Sunday, July 30th. Imperial Capital boosted their price target on shares of Southwest Airlines from $63.00 to $68.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, April 28th. Deutsche Bank AG boosted their price target on shares of Southwest Airlines from $63.00 to $65.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, April 28th. Finally, Bank of America Corporation boosted their price target on shares of Southwest Airlines from $62.00 to $75.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, June 30th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating, eleven have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $65.66.

Shares of Southwest Airlines (LUV) traded down 2.414% during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $53.975. 1,881,656 shares of the stock traded hands. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $58.99 and a 200-day moving average of $57.30. Southwest Airlines has a 52-week low of $36.05 and a 52-week high of $64.39. The company has a market cap of $32.31 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.552 and a beta of 1.26.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The airline reported $1.24 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.20 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $5.74 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.73 billion. Southwest Airlines had a net margin of 9.63% and a return on equity of 26.07%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 6.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.19 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts predict that Southwest Airlines will post $3.80 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Southwest Airlines announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase program on Wednesday, May 17th that authorizes the company to buyback $2.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the airline to buy up to 5.8% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are generally a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

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In other Southwest Airlines news, Director William H. Dr Cunningham purchased 4,500 shares of Southwest Airlines stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 11th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $54.00 per share, for a total transaction of $243,000.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 66,969 shares in the company, valued at $3,616,326. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, SVP Mark R. Shaw sold 3,823 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $59.13, for a total transaction of $226,053.99. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 7,784 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $460,267.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 52,467 shares of company stock valued at $3,140,809 in the last 90 days. Insiders own 0.21% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Tipp Hill Capital Management acquired a new stake in Southwest Airlines during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $5,813,000. Appleton Partners Inc. MA increased its stake in Southwest Airlines by 11.7% in the fourth quarter. Appleton Partners Inc. MA now owns 9,715 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $418,000 after buying an additional 1,015 shares during the period. Russell Frank Co increased its stake in Southwest Airlines by 4.2% in the fourth quarter. Russell Frank Co now owns 1,279,801 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $55,479,000 after buying an additional 51,588 shares during the period. Community Bank & Trust of Waco, Texas acquired a new stake in Southwest Airlines during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $2,098,000. Finally, Emerald Mutual Fund Advisers Trust increased its stake in Southwest Airlines by 4.7% in the fourth quarter. Emerald Mutual Fund Advisers Trust now owns 8,803 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $379,000 after buying an additional 396 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 80.58% of the company’s stock.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV)

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