Insider Buying: Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV) Director Acquires 4,500 Shares of Stock
Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV) Director William H. Dr Cunningham purchased 4,500 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 11th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $54.00 per share, for a total transaction of $243,000.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now directly owns 66,969 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,616,326. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink.
Shares of Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE LUV) traded up 1.07% on Monday, reaching $54.72. 4,657,826 shares of the company were exchanged. Southwest Airlines Company has a 1-year low of $36.05 and a 1-year high of $64.39. The stock has a market capitalization of $32.75 billion, a PE ratio of 16.78 and a beta of 1.26. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $59.36 and a 200 day moving average price of $57.29.
Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The airline reported $1.24 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.20 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $5.74 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.73 billion. Southwest Airlines had a net margin of 9.63% and a return on equity of 26.07%. The company’s revenue was up 6.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.19 EPS. On average, analysts forecast that Southwest Airlines Company will post $3.80 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 14th. Investors of record on Thursday, August 24th will be given a dividend of $0.125 per share. This represents a $0.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.91%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, August 22nd. Southwest Airlines’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 15.34%.
Southwest Airlines announced that its board has initiated a share buyback program on Wednesday, May 17th that allows the company to buyback $2.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the airline to buy up to 5.8% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.
A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of LUV. BDO Wealth Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Southwest Airlines during the second quarter worth about $102,000. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America increased 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 period. Pittenger & Anderson Inc. increased its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 13.5% in the second quarter. Pittenger & Anderson Inc. now owns 2,100 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $130,000 after buying an additional 250 shares during the period. Van ECK Associates Corp increased 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 period. Finally, National Pension Service purchased a new stake in shares of Southwest Airlines during the second quarter valued at about $141,000. 80.58% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
LUV has been the topic of several recent analyst reports. Cowen and Company reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $67.00 price objective on shares of Southwest Airlines in a report on Friday, July 28th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Sunday, July 30th. Morgan Stanley reissued an “overweight” rating and issued a $66.00 price target (up from $65.00) on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research note on Monday, July 10th. Deutsche Bank AG raised their price target on shares of Southwest Airlines from $63.00 to $65.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, April 28th. Finally, Imperial Capital raised their price target on shares of Southwest Airlines from $63.00 to $68.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, April 28th. One 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 given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $65.78.
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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