Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV) – Investment analysts at Imperial Capital reduced their Q3 2017 earnings estimates for shares of Southwest Airlines in a note issued to investors on Friday. Imperial Capital analyst M. Derchin now forecasts that the airline will earn $0.91 per share for the quarter, down from their prior forecast of $1.04. Imperial Capital currently has a “Outperform” rating on the stock. Imperial Capital also issued estimates for Southwest Airlines’ FY2017 earnings at $3.75 EPS and FY2018 earnings at $4.90 EPS.

LUV has been the topic of several other research reports. Cowen and Company reissued a “buy” rating and set a $67.00 price objective on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research note on Friday, July 28th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Sunday, July 30th. Morgan Stanley reiterated an “overweight” rating and issued a $66.00 target price (up previously from $65.00) on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research note on Monday, July 10th. Bank of America Corporation upped their target price on shares of Southwest Airlines from $62.00 to $75.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 30th. Finally, Vetr downgraded shares of Southwest Airlines from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $63.80 target price on the stock. in a research note on Thursday, June 22nd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating, twelve have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $66.10.

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Southwest Airlines (LUV) opened at 52.87 on Monday. 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 is $54.42 and its 200-day moving average is $57.04. The company has a market cap of $31.65 billion, a PE ratio of 16.21 and a beta of 1.29.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The airline reported $1.24 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.20 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $5.74 billion for 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 revenue was up 6.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.19 EPS.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its holdings in Southwest Airlines by 0.7% during 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 during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in Southwest Airlines by 4,163.3% during 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 holdings in Southwest Airlines by 1.5% during 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 holdings in Southwest Airlines by 39.0% during 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 holdings in Southwest Airlines by 13.1% during the second quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 8,836,067 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $549,016,000 after buying an additional 1,026,892 shares during the last quarter. 79.42% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

In other Southwest Airlines news, Director William H. Dr Cunningham bought 4,500 shares of Southwest Airlines stock in a transaction on Friday, August 11th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $54.00 per share, with a total value of $243,000.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 66,969 shares in the company, valued at $3,616,326. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. 0.21% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Southwest Airlines announced that its Board of Directors has approved a share buyback plan on Wednesday, May 17th that allows the company to buyback $2.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the airline to purchase up to 5.8% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are typically an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 14th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, August 24th will be issued a dividend of $0.125 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, August 22nd. This represents a $0.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.95%. Southwest Airlines’s dividend payout ratio is currently 15.34%.

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.

Earnings History and Estimates for Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV)

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