Fernwood Investment Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV) during the second quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor acquired 7,230 shares of the airline’s stock, valued at approximately $449,000.

Several other large investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in LUV. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America increased its stake in 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 in the last quarter. Buckingham Asset Management LLC increased its stake in Southwest Airlines by 0.3% in the first quarter. Buckingham Asset Management LLC now owns 5,690 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $306,000 after buying an additional 16 shares in the last quarter. Bank of Hawaii increased its stake in Southwest Airlines by 0.3% in the first quarter. Bank of Hawaii now owns 12,867 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $692,000 after buying an additional 35 shares in the last quarter. First Heartland Consultants Inc. increased its stake in Southwest Airlines by 0.3% in the first quarter. First Heartland Consultants Inc. now owns 16,293 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $876,000 after buying an additional 43 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Harwood Advisory Group LLC increased its stake in Southwest Airlines by 0.9% in the second quarter. Harwood Advisory Group LLC now owns 5,607 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $348,000 after buying an additional 51 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 80.58% of the company’s stock.

Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV) opened at 55.31 on Thursday. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $58.99 and a 200-day moving average price of $57.30. Southwest Airlines Company has a 52 week low of $36.05 and a 52 week high of $64.39. The company has a market cap of $33.11 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.96 and a beta of 1.26.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The airline reported $1.24 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.20 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $5.74 billion during 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 company’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 EPS. Equities research analysts anticipate that Southwest Airlines Company will post $3.80 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 14th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, August 24th will be issued a $0.125 dividend. This represents a $0.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.90%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, August 22nd. Southwest Airlines’s payout ratio is 15.34%.

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Several research firms have recently commented on LUV. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $67.00 price objective for the company in a report on Tuesday, June 13th. BidaskClub downgraded Southwest Airlines from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, June 9th. Vetr upgraded Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $63.80 price objective for the company in a report on Monday, June 5th. Argus upgraded Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their price objective for the company from $61.76 to $68.00 in a report on Thursday, June 22nd. Finally, Cowen and Company boosted their price objective on Southwest Airlines from $58.00 to $62.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, April 28th. One investment 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’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $65.78.

In related news, EVP Jeff Lamb sold 19,800 shares of Southwest Airlines stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.00, for a total value of $1,207,800.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 92,468 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,640,548. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director William H. Dr Cunningham acquired 4,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 11th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $54.00 per share, with a total value of $243,000.00. Following the acquisition, the director now directly owns 66,969 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,616,326. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 52,467 shares of company stock valued at $3,140,809. Corporate insiders own 0.21% of the company’s stock.

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.

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

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