Cowen reiterated their market perform rating on shares of Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) in a report issued on Friday morning, Marketbeat Ratings reports. The firm currently has a $58.00 target price on the airline’s stock, up from their prior target price of $54.00.

A number of other research firms have also commented on LUV. Imperial Capital reaffirmed an outperform rating and issued a $66.00 price objective (up from $60.00) on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research note on Thursday, September 27th. ValuEngine lowered shares of Southwest Airlines from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 3rd. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Southwest Airlines from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, October 4th. Morgan Stanley set a $68.00 price objective on shares of Southwest Airlines and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Friday, October 5th. Finally, Macquarie set a $67.00 price objective on shares of Southwest Airlines and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Monday, October 8th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Southwest Airlines presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $62.34.

Shares of NYSE LUV opened at $55.52 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.58, a current ratio of 0.64 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.45. Southwest Airlines has a 52-week low of $44.28 and a 52-week high of $64.02. The company has a market capitalization of $30.92 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.09, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.16 and a beta of 1.31.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 24th. The airline reported $1.17 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.06 by $0.11. Southwest Airlines had a net margin of 11.22% and a return on equity of 24.56%. The firm had revenue of $5.70 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.68 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.77 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 8.5% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts expect that Southwest Airlines will post 4.83 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, January 2nd. Investors of record on Wednesday, December 5th were paid a dividend of $0.16 per share. This represents a $0.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.15%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, December 4th. Southwest Airlines’s dividend payout ratio is presently 15.09%.

In related news, Director John T. Montford sold 956 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, November 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.35, for a total transaction of $50,046.60. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director John T. Montford sold 980 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.27, for a total transaction of $50,244.60. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 20,983 shares in the company, valued at $1,075,798.41. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.23% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. ACG Wealth raised its holdings in Southwest Airlines by 18.6% during the third quarter. ACG Wealth now owns 45,188 shares of the airline’s stock worth $2,822,000 after buying an additional 7,098 shares during the last quarter. First Hawaiian Bank acquired a new position in Southwest Airlines during the third quarter worth $1,829,000. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC raised its holdings in Southwest Airlines by 12.3% during the third quarter. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC now owns 11,534 shares of the airline’s stock worth $566,000 after buying an additional 1,265 shares during the last quarter. BB&T Corp acquired a new position in Southwest Airlines during the third quarter worth $292,000. Finally, Retirement Systems of Alabama raised its holdings in Southwest Airlines by 0.8% during the third quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama now owns 552,217 shares of the airline’s stock worth $34,486,000 after buying an additional 4,150 shares during the last quarter. 79.39% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Southwest Airlines Company Profile

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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Analyst Recommendations for Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV)

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