Vetr cut shares of Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV) from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Monday morning. They currently have $40.67 price objective on the airline’s stock.

Analyst Recommendations for Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV)

A number of other equities analysts have also issued reports on the stock. Credit Suisse Group AG set a $48.00 target price on shares of Southwest Airlines and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Monday, September 12th. Imperial Capital assumed coverage on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research report on Friday, September 9th. They issued an outperform rating and a $46.00 target price for the company. Morgan Stanley reiterated a hold rating and issued a $43.00 target price on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research report on Sunday, August 21st. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered shares of Southwest Airlines from an overweight rating to a neutral rating and decreased their target price for the company from $52.50 to $34.00 in a research report on Wednesday, July 27th. Finally, Evercore ISI upgraded shares of Southwest Airlines from a hold rating to a buy rating and decreased their target price for the company from $47.00 to $37.36 in a research report on Tuesday, July 26th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned 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 target price of $47.85.

Shares of Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) opened at 36.91 on Monday. Southwest Airlines has a one year low of $33.96 and a one year high of $51.34. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $36.95 and its 200-day moving average is $40.96. The stock has a market capitalization of $22.89 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.79 and a beta of 0.84.

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 consensus estimate of $1.21 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $5.38 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.41 billion. Southwest Airlines had a return on equity of 34.25% and a net margin of 11.95%. The firm’s revenue was up 5.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.03 EPS. On average, equities research analysts expect that Southwest Airlines will post $3.80 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 8th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, August 18th were paid a $0.10 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, August 16th. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.08%. Southwest Airlines’s payout ratio is 10.61%.

In related news, COO De Ven Michael G. Van acquired 4,200 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 3rd. The shares were acquired at an average price of $35.77 per share, for a total transaction of $150,234.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the chief operating officer now owns 183,245 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,554,673.65. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, SVP Mark R. Shaw sold 1,776 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, July 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $37.62, for a total transaction of $66,813.12. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 5,226 shares in the company, valued at approximately $196,602.12. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.18% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Rench Wealth Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 0.3% in the second quarter. Rench Wealth Management Inc. now owns 5,305 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $208,000 after buying an additional 14 shares during the last quarter. Shell Asset Management Co. increased its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 0.4% in the second quarter. Shell Asset Management Co. now owns 7,745 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $304,000 after buying an additional 32 shares during the last quarter. Trust Investment Advisors increased its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 0.3% in the second quarter. Trust Investment Advisors now owns 16,575 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $650,000 after buying an additional 50 shares during the last quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Company LTD increased its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 0.4% in the second quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Company LTD now owns 16,469 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $645,000 after buying an additional 60 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Apex Capital Management increased its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 0.4% in the first quarter. Apex Capital Management now owns 15,978 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $716,000 after buying an additional 65 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 78.34% of the company’s stock.

Southwest Airlines Company Profile

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.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:LUV

To view Vetr’s full report, visit Vetr’s official website.

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