Atlantic Securities upgraded shares of Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) from a neutral rating to an overweight rating in a report issued on Thursday morning, Marketbeat.com reports. They currently have $71.00 price target on the airline’s stock, up from their previous price target of $48.71.

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. Vetr cut Southwest Airlines from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $59.16 target price on the stock. in a report on Wednesday, October 4th. Wolfe Research raised Southwest Airlines from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a report on Friday, August 18th. Barclays reissued a hold rating and set a $61.00 target price on shares of Southwest Airlines in a report on Thursday, September 14th. Zacks Investment Research cut Southwest Airlines from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Wednesday, September 20th. Finally, Raymond James Financial raised Southwest Airlines from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and set a $65.00 target price on the stock in a report on Wednesday, September 20th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and fifteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $66.89.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE LUV) traded up $0.85 on Thursday, hitting $64.70. The stock had a trading volume of 6,470,900 shares, compared to its average volume of 5,223,042. The company has a market capitalization of $38,386.27, a PE ratio of 18.64, a PEG ratio of 2.14 and a beta of 1.34. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.46, a quick ratio of 0.55 and a current ratio of 0.61. Southwest Airlines has a 52 week low of $48.71 and a 52 week high of $64.92.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The airline reported $0.88 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $5.27 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.29 billion. Southwest Airlines had a return on equity of 24.85% and a net margin of 10.12%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.93 earnings per share. equities analysts forecast that Southwest Airlines will post 3.57 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, January 4th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, December 7th will be given a $0.125 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, December 6th. This represents a $0.50 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.77%. Southwest Airlines’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 14.37%.

In other Southwest Airlines news, Director John T. Montford sold 935 shares of Southwest Airlines stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.94, for a total transaction of $50,433.90. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 25,000 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,348,500. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director John T. Montford sold 1,695 shares of Southwest Airlines stock in a transaction that occurred 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 $1,461,410.46. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 2,662 shares of company stock worth $159,563. 0.21% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of LUV. BT Investment Management Ltd boosted its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 43.1% during the 3rd quarter. BT Investment Management Ltd now owns 408,284 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $22,857,000 after buying an additional 122,892 shares during the period. Macquarie Group Ltd. boosted its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 7.7% during the 2nd quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 216,819 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $13,472,000 after buying an additional 15,575 shares during the period. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 2.4% during the 2nd quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. now owns 466,121 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $28,965,000 after buying an additional 10,851 shares during the period. Columbus Circle Investors boosted its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 28.2% during the 2nd quarter. Columbus Circle Investors now owns 220,903 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $13,727,000 after buying an additional 48,632 shares during the period. Finally, Marshall Wace North America L.P. boosted its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 912.7% during the 2nd quarter. Marshall Wace North America L.P. now owns 49,855 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $3,091,000 after buying an additional 44,932 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 78.87% of the company’s stock.

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Southwest Airlines Company Profile

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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