Southwest Airlines Company (LUV) Given Average Recommendation of “Buy” by Analysts

Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV) has been assigned an average recommendation of “Buy” from the twenty ratings firms that are currently covering the company, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and fifteen have issued a buy rating on the company. The average 12 month price target among analysts that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $67.08.

Several research analysts recently commented on the company. Atlantic Securities raised Southwest Airlines from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and increased their price target for the company from $48.71 to $71.00 in a research report on Thursday. Zacks Investment Research cut Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 20th. Vetr lowered Southwest Airlines from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating and set a $54.06 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Tuesday, December 5th. Wolfe Research upgraded Southwest Airlines from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, August 18th. Finally, Barclays restated a “hold” rating and issued a $61.00 price objective on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research note on Thursday, September 14th.

In other Southwest Airlines news, Director John T. Montford sold 1,695 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $63.27, for a total transaction of $107,242.65. Following the transaction, the director now owns 23,098 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,461,410.46. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director John T. Montford sold 935 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.94, for a total value of $50,433.90. Following the transaction, the director now owns 25,000 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,348,500. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 2,662 shares of company stock worth $159,563. Corporate insiders own 0.21% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. BB&T Investment Services Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Southwest Airlines by 325.5% in the 3rd quarter. BB&T Investment Services Inc. now owns 1,583 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $110,000 after purchasing an additional 1,211 shares in the last quarter. BDO Wealth Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Southwest Airlines during the 2nd quarter valued at $102,000. Pittenger & Anderson Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Southwest Airlines by 13.5% during the 2nd quarter. Pittenger & Anderson Inc. now owns 2,100 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $130,000 after acquiring an additional 250 shares in the last quarter. Grove Bank & Trust boosted its holdings in shares of Southwest Airlines by 365.0% during the 3rd quarter. Grove Bank & Trust now owns 2,395 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $134,000 after acquiring an additional 1,880 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Harfst & Associates Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Southwest Airlines by 43.8% during the 2nd quarter. Harfst & Associates Inc. now owns 2,402 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $149,000 after acquiring an additional 732 shares in the last quarter. 78.87% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Southwest Airlines (LUV) traded up $0.71 during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $63.85. The stock had a trading volume of 5,061,656 shares, compared to its average volume of 5,217,865. The company has a quick ratio of 0.55, a current ratio of 0.61 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.46. The firm has a market capitalization of $37,638.57, a PE ratio of 18.28, a P/E/G ratio of 2.10 and a beta of 1.34. Southwest Airlines has a 52 week low of $48.71 and a 52 week high of $64.70.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The airline reported $0.88 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.01. Southwest Airlines had a return on equity of 24.85% and a net margin of 10.12%. The firm had revenue of $5.27 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.29 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.93 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 2.6% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts anticipate that Southwest Airlines will post 3.56 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, January 4th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, December 7th will be paid a dividend of $0.125 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, December 6th. This represents a $0.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.78%. Southwest Airlines’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 14.37%.

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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.

Analyst Recommendations for Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV)

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