Rhumbline Advisers lowered its stake in Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV) by 4.2% during the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The firm owned 1,056,369 shares of the airline’s stock after selling 45,980 shares during the period. Rhumbline Advisers’ holdings in Southwest Airlines were worth $65,643,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other large investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 0.7% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 38,498,787 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $2,069,695,000 after buying an additional 286,456 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in Southwest Airlines by 4,163.3% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 34,983,319 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $1,880,703,000 after buying an additional 34,162,752 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp boosted its position in Southwest Airlines by 1.5% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 23,480,558 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $1,262,308,000 after buying an additional 353,960 shares in the last quarter. Egerton Capital UK LLP boosted its position in Southwest Airlines by 39.0% in the first quarter. Egerton Capital UK LLP now owns 9,401,341 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $505,416,000 after buying an additional 2,638,743 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Ameriprise Financial Inc. boosted its position in Southwest Airlines by 80.3% in the first quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 7,809,175 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $419,796,000 after buying an additional 3,477,912 shares in the last quarter. 80.34% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Southwest Airlines Company (LUV) opened at 54.01 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $32.33 billion, a PE ratio of 16.56 and a beta of 1.26. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $59.77 and its 200 day moving average is $57.15. Southwest Airlines Company has a 12-month low of $36.05 and a 12-month high of $64.39.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The airline reported $1.24 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.20 by $0.04. Southwest Airlines had a net margin of 9.63% and a return on equity of 26.07%. The company had revenue of $5.74 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.73 billion. During the same period last year, the business posted $1.19 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.7% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts forecast that Southwest Airlines Company will post $3.80 EPS for the current year.

Southwest Airlines announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback program on Wednesday, May 17th that authorizes the company to buyback $2.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the airline to buy up to 5.8% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are usually a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 14th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, August 24th will be given a dividend of $0.125 per share. This represents a $0.50 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.93%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, August 22nd. Southwest Airlines’s dividend payout ratio is 15.34%.

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LUV has been the topic of several research reports. Sanford C. Bernstein reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $70.00 price target on shares of Southwest Airlines in a report on Thursday, July 13th. BidaskClub cut Southwest Airlines from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 12th. Zacks Investment Research cut Southwest Airlines from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 1st. Vetr raised Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $64.21 price target on the stock in a report on Tuesday, June 27th. Finally, ValuEngine raised Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, June 2nd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating, eleven have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $65.78.

In other news, SVP Mark R. Shaw sold 3,823 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $59.13, for a total transaction of $226,053.99. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 7,784 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $460,267.92. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, COO De Ven Michael G. Van sold 15,273 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.14, for a total transaction of $872,699.22. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 182,302 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $10,416,736.28. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 118,740 shares of company stock valued at $6,923,568 in the last three months. 0.21% of the stock is owned by insiders.

About Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines Co (Southwest) operates Southwest Airlines, a passenger airline that provides scheduled air transportation in the United States and near-international markets. The Company provides point-to-point service. The Company offers ancillary service offerings, such as Southwest’s EarlyBird Check-In and transportation of pets and unaccompanied minors, in accordance with Southwest’s respective policies.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV)

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