Traders sold shares of Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV) on strength during trading hours on Thursday. $42.79 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $70.16 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $27.37 million out of the stock. Of all equities tracked, Southwest Airlines had the 0th highest net out-flow for the day. Southwest Airlines traded up $0.54 for the day and closed at $36.42

A number of equities analysts have recently issued reports on the company. Evercore ISI upgraded Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and cut their price objective for the stock from $47.00 to $37.36 in a report on Tuesday, July 26th. Vetr upgraded Southwest Airlines from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $50.91 price objective for the company in a report on Friday, April 29th. Barclays PLC upgraded Southwest Airlines from an “underweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and upped their price objective for the stock from $41.00 to $48.00 in a report on Thursday, April 14th. Sterne Agee CRT reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Southwest Airlines in a report on Monday, May 16th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group AG reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $48.00 price objective on shares of Southwest Airlines in a report on Monday, July 25th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $49.51.

The stock has a 50-day moving average of $39.29 and a 200 day moving average of $41.35. The stock has a market capitalization of $23.48 billion and a PE ratio of 10.04.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last released its quarterly earnings results 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. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.03 EPS. The company earned $5.38 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.41 billion. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 5.3% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts expect that Southwest Airlines Co. will post $3.84 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 8th. Investors of record on Thursday, August 18th will be given a $0.10 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, August 16th. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.06%.

In other Southwest Airlines news, insider Gary C. Kelly bought 28,106 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 2nd. The stock was acquired at an average price of $35.58 per share, for a total transaction of $1,000,011.48. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 505,119 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $17,972,134.02. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director William H. Dr Cunningham bought 5,700 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 3rd. The shares were acquired at an average price of $35.80 per share, with a total value of $204,060.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 56,283 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,014,931.40. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here.

Several hedge funds and institutional investors have made changes to their positions in the stock. Navellier & Associates Inc raised its position in shares of Southwest Airlines by 2.6% in the fourth quarter. Navellier & Associates Inc now owns 24,447 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $1,053,000 after buying an additional 617 shares during the period. OppenheimerFunds Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Southwest Airlines during the fourth quarter valued at about $1,066,000. Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management CO. LTD. raised its position in shares of Southwest Airlines by 1.6% in the fourth quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management CO. LTD. now owns 26,120 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $1,125,000 after buying an additional 413 shares during the period. Suntrust Banks Inc. raised its position in shares of Southwest Airlines by 53.9% in the fourth quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 37,164 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $1,599,000 after buying an additional 13,015 shares during the period. Finally, Gluskin Sheff & Assoc Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Southwest Airlines during the fourth quarter valued at about $1,615,000.

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.

Get Analysts' Upgrades and Downgrades Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of analysts' upgrades, downgrades and new coverage with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.