Southwest Airlines Co (NYSE:LUV) has been given a consensus recommendation of “Buy” by the twenty-five research firms that are presently covering the firm, MarketBeat reports. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation, eight have issued a hold recommendation and fifteen have assigned a buy recommendation to the company. The average 1 year price objective among analysts that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $65.20.
A number of equities research analysts recently issued reports on the stock. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Southwest Airlines from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, October 11th. Imperial Capital reissued an “in-line” rating and issued a $62.00 price objective (up previously from $56.00) on shares of Southwest Airlines in a report on Tuesday. Citigroup upped their price objective on shares of Southwest Airlines from $59.00 to $62.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, November 29th. Morgan Stanley dropped their price objective on shares of Southwest Airlines from $68.00 to $64.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, November 14th. Finally, Susquehanna Bancshares began coverage on shares of Southwest Airlines in a report on Wednesday, November 28th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $56.00 price objective for the company.
Shares of LUV traded up $0.80 during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $53.60. The stock had a trading volume of 7,603,519 shares, compared to its average volume of 5,250,291. The company has a current ratio of 0.71, a quick ratio of 0.65 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.47. Southwest Airlines has a 52-week low of $47.10 and a 52-week high of $66.99. The firm has a market capitalization of $29.69 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.31, a P/E/G ratio of 1.15 and a beta of 1.23.
Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 25th. The airline reported $1.08 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.06 by $0.02. Southwest Airlines had a net margin of 17.18% and a return on equity of 22.27%. The firm had revenue of $5.58 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.56 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.88 earnings per share. Equities research analysts predict that Southwest Airlines will post 4.13 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 2nd. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, December 5th will be paid a dividend of $0.16 per share. This represents a $0.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.19%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, December 4th. Southwest Airlines’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 18.29%.
In other Southwest Airlines news, Director John T. Montford sold 956 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.35, for a total transaction of $50,046.60. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Company insiders own 0.23% of the company’s stock.
Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of LUV. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Southwest Airlines during the second quarter worth about $101,000. Point72 Hong Kong Ltd acquired a new stake in shares of Southwest Airlines during the second quarter worth about $108,000. CWM LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Southwest Airlines during the second quarter worth about $109,000. TRUE Private Wealth Advisors acquired a new stake in shares of Southwest Airlines during the third quarter worth about $111,000. Finally, Captrust Financial Advisors lifted its position in shares of Southwest Airlines by 310.5% during the second quarter. Captrust Financial Advisors now owns 2,299 shares of the airline’s stock worth $117,000 after purchasing an additional 1,739 shares in the last quarter. 79.44% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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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