Southwest Airlines (LUV) Upgraded to “Outperform” by Wolfe Research

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) was upgraded by research analysts at Wolfe Research from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday, The Fly reports.

A number of other research firms have also issued reports on LUV. Zacks Investment Research lowered Southwest Airlines from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, October 11th. Imperial Capital reaffirmed an “in-line” rating and set a $62.00 target price (up from $56.00) on shares of Southwest Airlines in a report on Tuesday. Citigroup lifted their target price on Southwest Airlines from $59.00 to $62.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, November 29th. Morgan Stanley lowered their target price on Southwest Airlines from $68.00 to $64.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, November 14th. Finally, Susquehanna Bancshares began coverage on Southwest Airlines in a report on Wednesday, November 28th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $56.00 target price on the stock. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and sixteen have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $65.38.

Shares of LUV traded down $2.24 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $51.36. 6,238,297 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 3,989,307. The firm has a market capitalization of $30.14 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.67, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.16 and a beta of 1.23. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.47, a quick ratio of 0.65 and a current ratio of 0.71. Southwest Airlines has a twelve month low of $47.10 and a twelve month high of $66.99.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 25th. The airline reported $1.08 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.06 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $5.58 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.56 billion. Southwest Airlines had a return on equity of 22.27% and a net margin of 17.18%. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.88 earnings per share. Analysts forecast that Southwest Airlines will post 4.16 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director John T. Montford sold 956 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, November 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.35, for a total value of $50,046.60. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Company insiders own 0.23% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in LUV. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. boosted its position in Southwest Airlines by 6.1% during the 2nd quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. now owns 70,551 shares of the airline’s stock worth $3,590,000 after acquiring an additional 4,028 shares during the period. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. boosted its position in Southwest Airlines by 5.7% during the 2nd quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. now owns 477,379 shares of the airline’s stock worth $24,289,000 after acquiring an additional 25,915 shares during the period. Connor Clark & Lunn Investment Management Ltd. acquired a new stake in Southwest Airlines during the 2nd quarter worth about $432,000. First Trust Advisors LP boosted its position in Southwest Airlines by 67.2% during the 2nd quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 895,811 shares of the airline’s stock worth $45,579,000 after acquiring an additional 359,881 shares during the period. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. boosted its position in Southwest Airlines by 33.9% during the 2nd quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 830,327 shares of the airline’s stock worth $42,247,000 after acquiring an additional 210,186 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 79.44% of the company’s stock.

About Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines Co operates a passenger airline that provides scheduled air transportation services in the United States and near-international markets. As of December 31, 2017, the company operated a total of 706 Boeing 737 aircraft; and served 100 destinations in 40 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, as well as 10 near-international countries, including Mexico, Jamaica, the Bahamas, Aruba, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Belize, Cuba, the Cayman Islands, and Turks and Caicos.

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The Fly

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