Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV)‘s stock had its “buy” rating reiterated by equities research analysts at Citigroup Inc. in a report released on Thursday. They currently have a $64.00 price target on the airline’s stock, down from their previous price target of $65.00. Citigroup Inc.’s target price would suggest a potential upside of 22.58% from the company’s current price.

Several other research firms have also recently issued reports on LUV. Sanford C. Bernstein reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $70.00 price objective on shares of Southwest Airlines in a report on Thursday, July 13th. BidaskClub cut Southwest Airlines from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 12th. Zacks Investment Research cut Southwest Airlines from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 1st. Vetr upgraded Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $64.21 price objective on the stock in a report on Tuesday, June 27th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, June 2nd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating, twelve have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Southwest Airlines currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $66.10.

Shares of Southwest Airlines (NYSE LUV) traded up 1.05% during trading on Thursday, reaching $52.21. The company had a trading volume of 6,045,981 shares. The company has a market capitalization of $31.25 billion, a PE ratio of 16.01 and a beta of 1.29. Southwest Airlines has a 52 week low of $36.31 and a 52 week high of $64.39. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $54.64 and its 200-day moving average price is $57.07.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The airline reported $1.24 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.20 by $0.04. Southwest Airlines had a return on equity of 26.07% and a net margin of 9.63%. The firm had revenue of $5.74 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.73 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.19 EPS. Southwest Airlines’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts expect that Southwest Airlines will post $3.79 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Southwest Airlines announced that its board has authorized a share repurchase program on Wednesday, May 17th that authorizes the company to buyback $2.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the airline to reacquire up to 5.8% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are typically a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

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In other news, Director William H. Dr Cunningham bought 4,500 shares of the 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 completion of the purchase, the director now owns 66,969 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,616,326. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. 0.21% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of LUV. BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 4,163.3% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 34,983,319 shares of the airline’s stock worth $1,880,703,000 after purchasing an additional 34,162,752 shares in the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. boosted its stake 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 acquiring an additional 3,477,912 shares in the last quarter. Egerton Capital UK LLP boosted its stake 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 acquiring an additional 2,638,743 shares in the last quarter. Boston Partners acquired a new position in Southwest Airlines in the second quarter valued at $153,454,000. Finally, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB publ boosted its stake in Southwest Airlines by 8,363.9% in the first quarter. Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB publ now owns 1,852,840 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $99,609,000 after acquiring an additional 1,830,949 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 79.42% 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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