Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV) was upgraded by investment analysts at J P Morgan Chase & Co from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Friday, MarketBeat Ratings reports. The brokerage currently has a $66.00 price objective on the airline’s stock, up from their previous price objective of $60.00. J P Morgan Chase & Co’s price target would suggest a potential upside of 20.61% from the company’s current price.

A number of other equities research analysts have also commented on the stock. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $67.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Tuesday, June 13th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Southwest Airlines from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, June 9th. Vetr raised shares of Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $63.80 price objective on the stock in a research note on Monday, June 5th. Argus raised shares of Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price objective for the stock from $61.76 to $68.00 in a research note on Thursday, June 22nd. Finally, Wolfe Research raised shares of Southwest Airlines from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, August 18th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating, twelve have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $67.77.

Southwest Airlines (LUV) traded up 0.68% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $54.72. 14,576,105 shares of the company traded hands. The stock has a market capitalization of $32.75 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.78 and a beta of 1.29. Southwest Airlines has a 12 month low of $36.31 and a 12 month high of $64.39. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $53.74 and a 200-day moving average of $56.91.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The airline reported $1.24 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.20 by $0.04. The company 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 revenue was up 6.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.19 EPS. Analysts forecast that Southwest Airlines will post $3.73 EPS for the current fiscal year.

WARNING: This report was published by American Banking News and is owned by of American Banking News. If you are reading this report on another domain, it was illegally copied and reposted in violation of U.S. and international copyright and trademark law. The legal version of this report can be read at https://www.americanbankingnews.com/2017/09/15/southwest-airlines-company-luv-upgraded-to-overweight-by-j-p-morgan-chase-co.html.

In related news, Director William H. Dr Cunningham purchased 4,500 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred 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 transaction, the director now owns 66,969 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,616,326. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 0.21% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its holdings in Southwest Airlines by 0.7% in the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 38,498,787 shares of the airline’s stock worth $2,069,695,000 after acquiring an additional 286,456 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in Southwest Airlines by 4,163.3% in the 1st 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 during the period. State Street Corp boosted its stake in Southwest Airlines by 1.5% in the 1st quarter. State Street Corp now owns 23,480,558 shares of the airline’s stock worth $1,262,308,000 after purchasing an additional 353,960 shares during the period. Egerton Capital UK LLP boosted its stake in Southwest Airlines by 39.0% in the 1st quarter. Egerton Capital UK LLP now owns 9,401,341 shares of the airline’s stock worth $505,416,000 after purchasing an additional 2,638,743 shares during the period. Finally, Ameriprise Financial Inc. boosted its stake in Southwest Airlines by 13.1% in the 2nd quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 8,836,067 shares of the airline’s stock worth $549,016,000 after purchasing an additional 1,026,892 shares during the period. 79.42% of the stock is owned by 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.

Analyst Recommendations for Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV)

Receive News & Ratings for Southwest Airlines Company Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Southwest Airlines Company and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.