Southwest Airlines (LUV) – Investment Analysts’ Recent Ratings Changes

A number of firms have modified their ratings and price targets on shares of Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) recently:

  • 2/5/2018 – Southwest Airlines was upgraded by analysts at Vetr from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating. They now have a $65.42 price target on the stock.
  • 1/30/2018 – Southwest Airlines was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating. They now have a $68.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Shares of Southwest Airlines have outperformed its industry over the past six months. Ushering in further good news, the carrier reported better-than-expected revenues and earnings per share in the fourth quarter of 2017. Both the metrics also increased on a year-over-year basis. Robust growth in passenger revenues on the back of strong demand for air travel, aided the top line. Additionally, the company's projection on unit revenues for the first quarter of 2018 is encouraging. We are impressed with the company's efforts to upgrade its fleet as well. Efforts to reward shareholders, through dividends and buybacks, raise optimism in the stock.  However, high operating expenses mainly due to the rise in fuel costs are hurting the bottom line.”
  • 1/30/2018 – Southwest Airlines was downgraded by analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating. They now have a $70.00 price target on the stock.
  • 1/25/2018 – Southwest Airlines was upgraded by analysts at Vetr from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating. They now have a $65.42 price target on the stock.
  • 1/10/2018 – Southwest Airlines had its “buy” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Stifel Nicolaus. They now have a $85.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $80.00.
  • 1/9/2018 – Southwest Airlines had its “buy” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Cowen Inc. They now have a $67.00 price target on the stock.
  • 1/9/2018 – Southwest Airlines was downgraded by analysts at Bank of America Corp from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating. They now have a $73.00 price target on the stock.
  • 1/3/2018 – Southwest Airlines was downgraded by analysts at ValuEngine from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating.
  • 1/1/2018 – Southwest Airlines was upgraded by analysts at Vetr from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating. They now have a $65.81 price target on the stock.
  • 12/26/2017 – Southwest Airlines was upgraded by analysts at Vetr from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating. They now have a $60.23 price target on the stock.
  • 12/14/2017 – Southwest Airlines was upgraded by analysts at Atlantic Securities from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating. They now have a $71.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $48.71.

Shares of Southwest Airlines Co (NYSE LUV) opened at $56.67 on Monday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.45, a current ratio of 0.70 and a quick ratio of 0.64. Southwest Airlines Co has a 1 year low of $49.76 and a 1 year high of $66.99. The firm has a market cap of $32,930.00, a PE ratio of 9.74, a P/E/G ratio of 0.99 and a beta of 1.17.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, January 25th. The airline reported $0.77 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.76 by $0.01. Southwest Airlines had a net margin of 16.48% and a return on equity of 23.43%. The company had revenue of $5.27 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.25 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.75 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.9% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts predict that Southwest Airlines Co will post 5 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, March 28th. Investors of record on Wednesday, March 7th will be given a $0.125 dividend. This represents a $0.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.88%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, March 6th. Southwest Airlines’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 8.59%.

In related news, Director John T. Montford sold 1,695 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, December 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.27, for a total value of $107,242.65. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 23,098 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,461,410.46. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, EVP Robert E. Jordan sold 32,931 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, December 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $64.38, for a total transaction of $2,120,097.78. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 76,993 shares in the company, valued at $4,956,809.34. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.21% of the company’s stock.

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.

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