New Jersey Better Educational Savings Trust reduced its position in Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV) by 16.7% during the second quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 10,000 shares of the airline’s stock after selling 2,000 shares during the period. New Jersey Better Educational Savings Trust’s holdings in Southwest Airlines were worth $621,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other hedge funds have also added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Boston Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Southwest Airlines during the first quarter worth $2,454,000. DnB Asset Management AS acquired a new stake in Southwest Airlines during the first quarter worth $697,000. Palisade Capital Management LLC NJ acquired a new stake in Southwest Airlines during the first quarter worth $269,000. Private Wealth Partners LLC acquired a new stake in Southwest Airlines during the first quarter worth $251,000. Finally, Americafirst Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in Southwest Airlines during the first quarter worth $212,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 80.34% of the company’s stock.

Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE LUV) opened at 54.69 on Thursday. Southwest Airlines Company has a 1-year low of $36.05 and a 1-year high of $64.39. The stock has a market cap of $32.74 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.77 and a beta of 1.26. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $59.97 and a 200 day moving average price of $57.17.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The airline reported $1.24 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.20 by $0.04. Southwest Airlines had a return on equity of 26.07% and a net margin of 9.63%. The company had revenue of $5.74 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.73 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.19 EPS. Southwest Airlines’s revenue was up 6.7% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Southwest Airlines Company will post $3.80 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Southwest Airlines declared that its board has approved a share repurchase plan on Wednesday, May 17th that allows the company to repurchase $2.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the airline to reacquire up to 5.8% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are often an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 14th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, August 24th will be issued a $0.125 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, August 22nd. This represents a $0.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.91%. Southwest Airlines’s payout ratio is currently 15.34%.

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Several equities analysts have recently commented on the company. Wolfe Research lowered Southwest Airlines from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $63.00 price target on the stock. in a research note on Monday, July 10th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Morgan Stanley restated an “overweight” rating and set a $66.00 price target (up previously from $65.00) on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research note on Monday, July 10th. BidaskClub lowered Southwest Airlines from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 12th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $70.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, July 4th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein restated an “outperform” rating and set a $70.00 price target on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research note on Thursday, July 13th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating, eleven have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $65.78.

In other news, SVP Mark R. Shaw sold 3,823 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $59.13, for a total value of $226,053.99. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 7,784 shares in the company, valued at approximately $460,267.92. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, EVP Jeff Lamb sold 19,800 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.00, for a total value of $1,207,800.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 92,468 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,640,548. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 118,740 shares of company stock worth $6,923,568. Company insiders own 0.21% of the company’s stock.

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

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