Vetr Inc. Upgrades Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV) to Strong-Buy
Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV) was upgraded by equities research analysts at Vetr from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report released on Wednesday. The brokerage presently has a $43.50 price objective on the airline’s stock. Vetr‘s price objective indicates a potential upside of 14.02% from the company’s previous close.
Several other research firms also recently weighed in on LUV. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 14th. Cowen and Company dropped their price objective on Southwest Airlines from $51.00 to $49.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, June 24th. Credit Suisse Group AG reaffirmed an “outperform” rating on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research note on Wednesday, July 6th. Imperial Capital began coverage on Southwest Airlines in a research note on Friday, September 9th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $46.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $57.00 price objective on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research note on Saturday, June 25th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating, nine have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $48.05.
Shares of Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) opened at 38.15 on Wednesday. Southwest Airlines has a 52-week low of $33.96 and a 52-week high of $51.34. The stock has a market capitalization of $23.66 billion, a PE ratio of 10.12 and a beta of 0.84. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $37.07 and a 200-day moving average price of $40.78.
Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 21st. The airline reported $1.19 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.21 by $0.02. Southwest Airlines had a net margin of 11.95% and a return on equity of 34.25%. The firm 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 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.3% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Southwest Airlines will post $3.78 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 8th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, August 18th were given a $0.10 dividend. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.05%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, August 16th. Southwest Airlines’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 10.61%.
In related news, insider Gary C. Kelly acquired 28,106 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 2nd. The shares were bought at an average cost of $35.58 per share, with a total value 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 approximately $17,972,134.02. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Mark R. Shaw sold 1,776 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, July 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $37.62, for a total value of $66,813.12. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 5,226 shares in the company, valued at $196,602.12. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.18% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in LUV. Rench Wealth Management Inc. raised its position in 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 period. Shell Asset Management Co. raised its position in 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 period. Trust Investment Advisors raised its position in 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 period. Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Company LTD raised its position in 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 period. Finally, Apex Capital Management raised its position in 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 period. 78.34% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
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.
To view Vetr’s full report, visit Vetr’s official website.
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