Bp Plc purchased a new stake in shares of Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV) during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm purchased 18,000 shares of the airline’s stock, valued at approximately $1,119,000.

A number of other large investors have also modified their holdings of the stock. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America raised its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 0.6% in the first quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America now owns 2,374 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $128,000 after buying an additional 15 shares during the last quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp raised its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 6.6% in the first quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 2,502 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $135,000 after buying an additional 154 shares during the last quarter. National Pension Service acquired a new stake in shares of Southwest Airlines during the second quarter valued at about $141,000. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 88.9% in the first quarter. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC now owns 2,821 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $152,000 after buying an additional 1,328 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Farmers & Merchants Investments Inc. raised its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 2.9% in the second quarter. Farmers & Merchants Investments Inc. now owns 2,632 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $164,000 after buying an additional 75 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 80.34% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE LUV) opened at 54.14 on Friday. The company’s 50 day moving average is $59.56 and its 200 day moving average is $57.18. Southwest Airlines Company has a one year low of $36.05 and a one year high of $64.39. The company has a market cap of $32.41 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.60 and a beta of 1.26.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The airline reported $1.24 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.20 by $0.04. Southwest Airlines had a net margin of 9.63% and a return on equity of 26.07%. The business had revenue of $5.74 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.73 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.19 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 6.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts predict that Southwest Airlines Company will post $3.80 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 14th. Investors of record on Thursday, August 24th will be issued a dividend of $0.125 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, August 22nd. This represents a $0.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.92%. Southwest Airlines’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 15.34%.

Southwest Airlines declared that its board has authorized a stock repurchase program on Wednesday, May 17th that allows the company to repurchase $2.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the airline to buy up to 5.8% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are usually a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

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LUV has been the topic of several recent research reports. Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $80.00 price target on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research note on Friday, May 26th. Deutsche Bank AG lifted their price target on shares of 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 shares of Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $68.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, May 30th. Finally, Vetr upgraded shares of Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $63.80 price target on the stock in a research note on Monday, June 5th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating, eleven have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Southwest Airlines presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $65.78.

In other news, Chairman Gary C. Kelly sold 51,000 shares of Southwest Airlines stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $57.06, for a total value of $2,910,060.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now owns 556,808 shares in the company, valued at $31,771,464.48. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Jeff Lamb sold 19,800 shares of Southwest Airlines stock in a transaction dated 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 owns 92,468 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,640,548. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 118,740 shares of company stock valued at $6,923,568 in the last 90 days. 0.21% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV)

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