Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV) gapped up prior to trading on Tuesday . The stock had previously closed at $40.75, but opened at $41.04. Southwest Airlines shares last traded at $42.29, with a volume of 3,764,036 shares traded.

LUV has been the topic of a number of recent analyst reports. Credit Suisse Group AG lowered their price objective on Southwest Airlines from $54.00 to $53.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, April 12th. Vetr upgraded Southwest Airlines from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $53.32 price objective on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, April 13th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Southwest Airlines from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 15th. Stephens initiated coverage on Southwest Airlines in a research report on Tuesday, March 29th. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $60.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $57.00 price objective on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research report on Saturday, June 25th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Southwest Airlines currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $52.92.

The stock has a 50 day moving average of $40.86 and a 200-day moving average of $41.75. The firm has a market cap of $27.36 billion and a P/E ratio of 12.61.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 21st. The airline reported $0.88 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.84 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $4.80 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.81 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.66 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 9.3% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts predict that Southwest Airlines Co. will post $4.06 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, June 29th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, June 8th were issued a dividend of $0.10 per share. This is an increase from Southwest Airlines’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.08. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.97%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, June 6th.

In other news, Director David W. Biegler sold 8,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, April 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $46.94, for a total transaction of $375,520.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 43,608 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,046,959.52. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, EVP Jeff Lamb sold 18,765 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $41.79, for a total transaction of $784,189.35. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 150,487 shares in the company, valued at $6,288,851.73. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Several hedge funds have made changes to their positions in LUV. Bank of Hawaii boosted its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 11.1% in the fourth quarter. Bank of Hawaii now owns 41,032 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $1,767,000 after buying an additional 4,097 shares in the last quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Southwest Airlines during the fourth quarter valued at about $1,066,000. Stevens Capital Management LP acquired a new stake in shares of Southwest Airlines during the fourth quarter valued at about $2,728,000. Comerica Bank boosted its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 1.0% in the fourth quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 182,736 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $7,713,000 after buying an additional 1,784 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Profund Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 10.8% in the fourth quarter. Profund Advisors LLC now owns 27,050 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $1,165,000 after buying an additional 2,637 shares in the last quarter.

Southwest Airlines Co (Southwest) operates Southwest Airlines. Southwest is a passenger airline that provides scheduled air transportation in the United States and near-international markets. The Company serves approximately 100 destinations in over 40 states, such as the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and approximately seven near-international countries, including Mexico, Jamaica, The Bahamas, Aruba, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, and Belize.

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