Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV) Coverage Initiated at Sanford C. Bernstein
Investment analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein started coverage on shares of Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV) in a report issued on Monday. The firm set an “outperform” rating and a $51.00 price target on the airline’s stock. Sanford C. Bernstein’s price objective suggests a potential upside of 28.17% from the stock’s current price. The analysts noted that the move was a valuation call.
A number of other analysts also recently issued reports on the stock. Vetr raised shares of Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $38.64 price target on the stock in a report on Tuesday, September 6th. Evercore ISI raised shares of Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and dropped their price objective for the stock from $47.00 to $37.36 in a report on Tuesday, July 26th. Morgan Stanley reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $43.00 price objective on shares of Southwest Airlines in a report on Sunday, August 21st. Argus downgraded shares of Southwest Airlines from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and raised their price objective for the stock from $32.94 to $37.83 in a report on Monday, July 25th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group AG reissued 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, eleven have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $48.36.
Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) opened at 39.79 on Monday. Southwest Airlines has a 12-month low of $33.96 and a 12-month high of $51.34. The company’s 50-day moving average is $37.66 and its 200 day moving average is $40.47. The stock has a market capitalization of $24.68 billion, a PE ratio of 10.55 and a beta of 0.80.
Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last announced its quarterly earnings results 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 company had revenue of $5.38 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.41 billion. Southwest Airlines had a net margin of 11.95% and a return on equity of 34.25%. The business’s revenue was up 5.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.03 EPS. On average, equities research analysts expect that Southwest Airlines will post $3.78 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
In related news, insider Gary C. Kelly acquired 28,106 shares of Southwest Airlines stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 2nd. The shares were purchased 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 in the company, valued at approximately $17,972,134.02. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, COO De Ven Michael G. Van acquired 4,200 shares of Southwest Airlines stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 3rd. The shares were bought at an average price of $35.77 per share, for a total transaction of $150,234.00. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 183,245 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,554,673.65. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders own 0.18% of the company’s stock.
Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Bank of Montreal Can bought a new stake in Southwest Airlines during the second quarter valued at about $246,179,000. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted its stake in Southwest Airlines by 60.1% in the second quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 5,445,479 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $213,519,000 after buying an additional 2,044,766 shares during the last quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in Southwest Airlines by 53.3% in the second quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 5,238,342 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $205,395,000 after buying an additional 1,821,829 shares during the last quarter. Emerald Acquisition Ltd. bought a new stake in Southwest Airlines during the second quarter valued at about $58,545,000. Finally, Capital Fund Management S.A. boosted its stake in Southwest Airlines by 472.4% in the second quarter. Capital Fund Management S.A. now owns 1,718,192 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $67,370,000 after buying an additional 1,418,012 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 78.34% of the company’s stock.
About Southwest Airlines
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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