Press coverage about Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) has been trending somewhat positive this week, according to Accern. The research firm identifies positive and negative press coverage by analyzing more than 20 million news and blog sources. Accern ranks coverage of public companies on a scale of negative one to one, with scores nearest to one being the most favorable. Southwest Airlines earned a media sentiment score of 0.18 on Accern’s scale. Accern also assigned news articles about the airline an impact score of 46.1148022182636 out of 100, meaning that recent press coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an impact on the company’s share price in the near future.

Here are some of the media stories that may have effected Accern Sentiment Analysis’s analysis:

Shares of Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) opened at 54.72 on Tuesday. Southwest Airlines has a 52 week low of $36.05 and a 52 week 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 stock has a 50 day moving average of $59.36 and a 200-day moving average 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, beating the consensus estimate of $1.20 by $0.04. Southwest Airlines had a net margin of 9.63% and a return on equity of 26.07%. The firm had revenue of $5.74 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.73 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $1.19 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 6.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts expect that Southwest Airlines will post $3.80 EPS for the current year.

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

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

A number of research analysts recently weighed in on LUV shares. Bank of America Corporation increased their price objective on shares of Southwest Airlines from $62.00 to $75.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, June 30th. Deutsche Bank AG increased their price objective on shares of Southwest Airlines from $63.00 to $65.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, April 28th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Southwest Airlines from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, July 24th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Southwest Airlines from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, June 5th. Finally, Imperial Capital increased their price objective on shares of Southwest Airlines from $63.00 to $68.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, April 28th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating, eleven have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Southwest Airlines presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $65.78.

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In other Southwest Airlines news, EVP Jeff Lamb sold 19,800 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.00, for a total transaction of $1,207,800.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 92,468 shares in the company, valued at $5,640,548. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, COO De Ven Michael G. Van sold 15,273 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.14, for a total transaction of $872,699.22. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 182,302 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $10,416,736.28. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 118,740 shares of company stock valued at $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.

Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV)

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