Analysts at Macquarie started coverage on shares of Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV) in a research note issued to investors on Monday, The Fly reports. The brokerage set an “outperform” rating on the airline’s stock.

A number of other research firms have also weighed in on LUV. Sanford C. Bernstein reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $70.00 target price on shares of Southwest Airlines in a report on Thursday, July 13th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Southwest Airlines from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 12th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Southwest Airlines from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 1st. Vetr raised shares of Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $64.21 price target on the stock in a report on Tuesday, June 27th. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, June 2nd. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and fifteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Southwest Airlines currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $67.26.

Shares of Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) traded up 0.337% during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $55.115. 3,244,719 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. Southwest Airlines has a 52-week low of $36.61 and a 52-week high of $64.39. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $53.62 and a 200 day moving average price of $56.83. The firm has a market cap of $32.99 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.901 and a beta of 1.29.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The airline reported $1.24 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.20 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $5.74 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.73 billion. Southwest Airlines had a net margin of 9.63% and a return on equity of 26.07%. Southwest Airlines’s revenue was up 6.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.19 EPS. Analysts forecast that Southwest Airlines will post $3.69 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other Southwest Airlines news, Director William H. Dr Cunningham bought 4,500 shares of Southwest Airlines stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 11th. The shares were bought at an average price of $54.00 per share, with a total value of $243,000.00. Following the acquisition, the director now owns 66,969 shares in the company, valued at $3,616,326. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 0.21% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. American Century Companies Inc. boosted its position in Southwest Airlines by 0.3% during the 1st quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 84,955 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $4,567,000 after buying an additional 290 shares during the period. Intellectus Partners LLC boosted its position in Southwest Airlines by 7,880.4% during the 1st quarter. Intellectus Partners LLC now owns 7,342 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $395,000 after buying an additional 7,250 shares during the period. Buckingham Asset Management LLC boosted its position in Southwest Airlines by 0.3% during the 1st quarter. Buckingham Asset Management LLC now owns 5,690 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $306,000 after buying an additional 16 shares during the period. Bienville Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in Southwest Airlines during the 1st quarter valued at $202,000. Finally, Shepherd Financial Partners LLC boosted its position in Southwest Airlines by 9.4% during the 1st quarter. Shepherd Financial Partners LLC now owns 17,628 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $942,000 after buying an additional 1,508 shares during the period. 79.42% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Southwest Airlines

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.

The Fly

Analyst Recommendations for Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV)

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