Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV) shares saw an uptick in trading volume on Thursday . 18,942,007 shares changed 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 analyst reports. Buckingham Research lowered shares of Southwest Airlines from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday. Cowen and Company lowered their target price on shares of Southwest Airlines from $49.00 to $47.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Friday. Vetr raised shares of Southwest Airlines from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $36.92 target price on the stock in a report on Thursday. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, July 14th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group AG reaffirmed an “outperform” rating on shares of Southwest Airlines in a report on Wednesday, July 6th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Southwest Airlines currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $52.92.

The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $40.70 and its 200 day moving average price is $41.68. The stock has a market cap of $24.16 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.14.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 21st. The airline reported $1.19 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.21 by $0.02. The business earned $5.38 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.41 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.03 EPS. Southwest Airlines’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.3% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts predict that Southwest Airlines Co. will post $3.97 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 paid a $0.10 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Monday, June 6th. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.06%. This is a positive change from Southwest Airlines’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.08.

In other news, Director David W. Biegler sold 8,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, April 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $46.94, for a total transaction of $375,520.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 43,608 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,046,959.52. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director John T. Montford sold 1,210 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, June 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $43.31, for a total value of $52,405.10. Following the transaction, the director now owns 27,155 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,176,083.05. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Several hedge funds and institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of LUV. KBC Group NV increased its position in Southwest Airlines by 8.3% in the fourth quarter. KBC Group NV now owns 282,545 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $12,167,000 after buying an additional 21,720 shares during the last quarter. 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 in the last quarter. Gluskin Sheff & Assoc Inc. bought a new position in shares of Southwest Airlines during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $1,615,000. Redwood Investments LLC increased its position in shares of Southwest Airlines by 172.5% in the fourth quarter. Redwood Investments LLC now owns 118,498 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $5,103,000 after buying an additional 75,007 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Trexquant Investment LP increased its position in shares of Southwest Airlines by 87.7% in the fourth quarter. Trexquant Investment LP now owns 51,800 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $2,231,000 after buying an additional 24,200 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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