Brokerages expect that Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV) will announce earnings of $1.02 per share for the current quarter, Zacks reports. Five analysts have made estimates for Southwest Airlines’ earnings, with estimates ranging from $0.94 to $1.15. Southwest Airlines posted earnings of $0.93 per share during the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year over year growth rate of 9.7%. The firm is expected to issue its next quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th.

On average, analysts expect that Southwest Airlines will report full year earnings of $3.83 per share for the current financial year, with EPS estimates ranging from $3.70 to $3.95. For the next year, analysts forecast that the firm will report earnings of $4.77 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $4.00 to $5.65. Zacks Investment Research’s earnings per share averages are a mean average based on a survey of analysts that that provide coverage for Southwest Airlines.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last announced 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 company had revenue of $5.74 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.73 billion. Southwest Airlines had a return on equity of 26.07% and a net margin of 9.63%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 6.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.19 earnings per share.

LUV has been the topic of several research analyst reports. Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $80.00 price objective on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research note on Friday, May 26th. Deutsche Bank AG upped their price objective on Southwest Airlines from $63.00 to $65.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, April 28th. ValuEngine upgraded Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $68.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, May 30th. Finally, Vetr upgraded 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. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating, eleven have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $65.78.

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In other news, COO De Ven Michael G. Van sold 15,273 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $57.14, for a total value of $872,699.22. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 182,302 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $10,416,736.28. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Jeff Lamb sold 19,800 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.00, for a total transaction of $1,207,800.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 92,468 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,640,548. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 118,740 shares of company stock worth $6,923,568. Company insiders own 0.21% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Boston Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Southwest Airlines during the first quarter valued at $2,454,000. DnB Asset Management AS purchased a new position in Southwest Airlines during the first quarter worth approximately $697,000. Palisade Capital Management LLC NJ purchased a new position in Southwest Airlines during the first quarter worth approximately $269,000. Private Wealth Partners LLC purchased a new position in Southwest Airlines during the first quarter worth approximately $251,000. Finally, Americafirst Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in Southwest Airlines during the first quarter worth approximately $212,000. 80.34% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE LUV) opened at 54.69 on Thursday. The company has a market cap of $32.74 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.77 and a beta of 1.26. Southwest Airlines has a 52 week low of $35.43 and a 52 week high of $64.39. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $59.97 and its 200-day moving average price is $57.17.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 14th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, August 24th will be given a dividend of $0.125 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, August 22nd. This represents a $0.50 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.91%. Southwest Airlines’s dividend payout ratio is currently 15.34%.

Southwest Airlines announced that its board has initiated a stock repurchase program on Wednesday, May 17th that authorizes the company to buyback $2.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the airline to reacquire up to 5.8% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are typically an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

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.

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Earnings History and Estimates for Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV)

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