National Planning Corp reduced its position in shares of Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV) by 3.1% during the second quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 8,824 shares of the airline’s stock after selling 286 shares during the period. National Planning Corp’s holdings in Southwest Airlines were worth $548,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Other hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Huntington National Bank boosted its position in Southwest Airlines by 53.7% in the first quarter. Huntington National Bank now owns 6,847 shares of the airline’s stock worth $368,000 after buying an additional 2,392 shares during the period. Moody National Bank Trust Division purchased a new position in Southwest Airlines during the first quarter worth about $466,000. Deschutes Portfolio Strategy LLC purchased a new position in Southwest Airlines during the first quarter worth about $283,000. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC boosted its position in Southwest Airlines by 5.3% in the first quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 272,607 shares of the airline’s stock worth $14,654,000 after buying an additional 13,603 shares during the period. Finally, Boston Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Southwest Airlines during the first quarter worth about $2,454,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 80.34% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Southwest Airlines Company (LUV) opened at 54.14 on Friday. The firm has a market capitalization of $32.41 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.60 and a beta of 1.26. The company has a 50-day moving average of $59.56 and a 200 day moving average of $57.18. Southwest Airlines Company has a 52 week low of $36.05 and a 52 week high of $64.39.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The airline reported $1.24 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ 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 business had revenue of $5.74 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.73 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.19 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 6.7% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts anticipate that Southwest Airlines Company will post $3.80 earnings per share for the current year.

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

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 14th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, August 24th will be given a $0.125 dividend. This represents a $0.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.92%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, August 22nd. Southwest Airlines’s payout ratio is 15.34%.

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A number of research firms have issued reports on LUV. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $67.00 target price for the company in a report on Tuesday, June 13th. BidaskClub cut Southwest Airlines from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, June 9th. Vetr upgraded Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $63.80 target price for the company in a report on Monday, June 5th. Argus upgraded Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $61.76 to $68.00 in a report on Thursday, June 22nd. Finally, Cowen and Company increased their target price on Southwest Airlines from $58.00 to $62.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, April 28th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating, eleven have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $65.78.

In other Southwest Airlines news, EVP Jeff Lamb sold 19,800 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.00, for a total value of $1,207,800.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 92,468 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,640,548. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, SVP Mark R. Shaw sold 3,823 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 23rd. The stock was 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 directly owns 7,784 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $460,267.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 118,740 shares of company stock valued at $6,923,568 over the last ninety days. 0.21% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Southwest Airlines Company Profile

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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