Southwest Airlines Co (NYSE:LUV) – Equities research analysts at Imperial Capital increased their FY2018 earnings per share (EPS) estimates for Southwest Airlines in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday, December 4th. Imperial Capital analyst M. Derchin now forecasts that the airline will earn $4.20 per share for the year, up from their prior forecast of $4.13. Imperial Capital currently has a “In-Line” rating and a $62.00 target price on the stock. Imperial Capital also issued estimates for Southwest Airlines’ Q4 2018 earnings at $1.13 EPS, Q1 2019 earnings at $0.84 EPS, Q2 2019 earnings at $1.62 EPS, Q3 2019 earnings at $1.31 EPS, Q4 2019 earnings at $1.19 EPS and FY2019 earnings at $4.95 EPS.

A number of other research firms also recently weighed in on LUV. Macquarie upgraded Southwest Airlines to an “outperform” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 18th. ValuEngine upgraded Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, September 17th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Southwest Airlines from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 4th. Buckingham Research boosted their target price on Southwest Airlines from $69.00 to $73.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, September 7th. Finally, Argus upgraded Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $73.00 target price for the company in a research report on Friday, September 7th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and fifteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $65.38.

NYSE:LUV opened at $53.60 on Thursday. The company has a market capitalization of $29.69 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.31, a PEG ratio of 1.15 and a beta of 1.23. Southwest Airlines has a 1-year low of $47.10 and a 1-year high of $66.99. The company has a quick ratio of 0.65, a current ratio of 0.71 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.47.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last released its earnings results on Thursday, October 25th. The airline reported $1.08 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.06 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $5.58 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.56 billion. Southwest Airlines had a return on equity of 22.27% and a net margin of 17.18%. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.88 EPS.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Primecap Management Co. CA increased its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 0.3% during the third quarter. Primecap Management Co. CA now owns 73,955,888 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $4,618,545,000 after buying an additional 241,557 shares during the period. FMR LLC increased its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 11.8% during the third quarter. FMR LLC now owns 12,725,686 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $794,719,000 after buying an additional 1,343,228 shares during the period. Boston Partners increased its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 5.2% during the second quarter. Boston Partners now owns 8,927,411 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $454,227,000 after buying an additional 443,918 shares during the period. AQR Capital Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 1.4% during the third quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 5,195,142 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $324,436,000 after buying an additional 71,503 shares during the period. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 9.9% during the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 3,637,579 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $185,076,000 after buying an additional 328,453 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 79.44% of the company’s stock.

In other Southwest Airlines news, Director John T. Montford sold 956 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.35, for a total value of $50,046.60. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Insiders own 0.23% of the company’s stock.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 2nd. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, December 5th will be given a $0.16 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, December 4th. This represents a $0.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.19%. Southwest Airlines’s payout ratio is currently 18.29%.

About Southwest Airlines

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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Earnings History and Estimates for Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV)

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