Shares of Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV) saw unusually-high trading volume on Thursday . Approximately 18,942,007 shares traded hands during mid-day trading, an increase of 119% from the previous session’s volume of 8,652,083 shares.The stock last traded at $38.26 and had previously closed at $42.03.

LUV has been the topic of several recent analyst reports. Vetr cut shares of Southwest Airlines from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $50.91 target price on the stock. in a report on Monday, April 18th. Buckingham Research restated a “buy” rating on shares of Southwest Airlines in a report on Friday, April 15th. Deutsche Bank AG reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research note on Saturday, April 9th. Sterne Agee CRT reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research note on Thursday, April 14th. Finally, Cowen and Company reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research note on Sunday, June 26th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Southwest Airlines currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $52.92.

The company has a 50 day moving average of $40.82 and a 200-day moving average of $41.71. The firm has a market capitalization of $23.84 billion and a P/E ratio of 10.99.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 21st. The airline reported $1.19 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.21 by $0.02. The business earned $5.38 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.41 billion. The firm’s revenue was up 5.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.03 earnings per share. Analysts predict that Southwest Airlines Co. will post $4.06 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, June 29th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, June 8th were given a $0.10 dividend. This is a positive change from Southwest Airlines’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.08. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.07%. The ex-dividend date was Monday, June 6th.

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

Other institutional investors have made changes to their positions in the company. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Southwest Airlines by 0.9% in the fourth quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 37,795,590 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $1,627,479,000 after buying an additional 343,228 shares during the period. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its position in shares of Southwest Airlines by 16.8% in the fourth quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 6,287,825 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $270,754,000 after buying an additional 906,048 shares during the period. State of Tennessee Treasury Department increased its position in shares of Southwest Airlines by 87.1% in the fourth quarter. State of Tennessee Treasury Department now owns 1,240,247 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $53,405,000 after buying an additional 577,482 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Southwest Airlines by 2.9% in the fourth quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 1,004,116 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $43,237,000 after buying an additional 28,144 shares during the period. Finally, Eagle Asset Management acquired a new position in shares of Southwest Airlines during the third quarter valued at approximately $28,954,000.

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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