Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV) has earned an average rating of “Buy” from the twenty research firms that are currently covering the firm, MarketBeat Ratings reports. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and fifteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The average 12-month price objective among brokerages that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $67.17.

Several brokerages have weighed in on LUV. Wolfe Research cut shares of Southwest Airlines from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $63.00 price objective for the company. in a research note on Monday, July 10th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Morgan Stanley restated an “overweight” rating and issued a $66.00 target price (up from $65.00) on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research report on Monday, July 10th. BidaskClub cut shares of Southwest Airlines from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 12th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $70.00 target price for the company in a research report on Tuesday, July 4th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein restated an “outperform” rating and issued a $70.00 target price on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research report on Thursday, July 13th.

In related news, Director William H. Dr Cunningham purchased 4,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 11th. The shares were bought at an average price of $54.00 per share, for a total transaction of $243,000.00. Following the acquisition, the director now owns 66,969 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,616,326. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Corporate insiders own 0.21% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. BDO Wealth Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in Southwest Airlines in the second quarter worth $102,000. Pittenger & Anderson Inc. increased its stake in Southwest Airlines by 13.5% in the second quarter. Pittenger & Anderson Inc. now owns 2,100 shares of the airline’s stock worth $130,000 after purchasing an additional 250 shares during the period. National Pension Service purchased a new stake in Southwest Airlines in the second quarter worth $141,000. 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 worth $128,000 after purchasing an additional 15 shares during the period. Finally, Harfst & Associates Inc. increased its stake in Southwest Airlines by 43.8% in the second quarter. Harfst & Associates Inc. now owns 2,402 shares of the airline’s stock worth $149,000 after purchasing an additional 732 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 79.42% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Southwest Airlines (LUV) traded down 0.34% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $55.98. 3,751,346 shares of the company were exchanged. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $53.62 and a 200 day moving average price of $56.82. The company has a market capitalization of $33.51 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.17 and a beta of 1.29. Southwest Airlines has a 52-week low of $36.61 and a 52-week high of $64.39.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The airline reported $1.24 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.20 by $0.04. The company 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 quarterly revenue was up 6.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.19 EPS. Equities research analysts expect that Southwest Airlines will post $3.66 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 14th. Investors of record on Thursday, August 24th were issued a dividend of $0.125 per share. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, August 22nd. This represents a $0.50 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.89%. Southwest Airlines’s payout ratio is presently 15.34%.

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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.

Analyst Recommendations for Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV)

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