Principal Financial Group Inc. lessened its holdings in shares of Southwest Airlines Co (NYSE:LUV) by 2.6% in the fourth quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The firm owned 741,145 shares of the airline’s stock after selling 20,128 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. owned 0.13% of Southwest Airlines worth $34,448,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Stone Ridge Asset Management LLC lifted its position in Southwest Airlines by 28.7% during the 4th quarter. Stone Ridge Asset Management LLC now owns 56,888 shares of the airline’s stock worth $2,644,000 after buying an additional 12,702 shares in the last quarter. Brandywine Global Investment Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of Southwest Airlines by 3.6% in the 4th quarter. Brandywine Global Investment Management LLC now owns 696,424 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $32,370,000 after purchasing an additional 24,378 shares during the period. Crestline Management LP bought a new stake in shares of Southwest Airlines in the 4th quarter valued at about $3,366,000. Lido Advisors LLC raised its holdings in shares of Southwest Airlines by 33.3% in the 4th quarter. Lido Advisors LLC now owns 6,433 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $300,000 after purchasing an additional 1,607 shares during the period. Finally, Mackay Shields LLC raised its holdings in shares of Southwest Airlines by 15.6% in the 4th quarter. Mackay Shields LLC now owns 127,050 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $5,905,000 after purchasing an additional 17,191 shares during the period. 80.29% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

LUV has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. Susquehanna Bancshares initiated coverage on shares of Southwest Airlines in a report on Wednesday, November 28th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $56.00 target price on the stock. Citigroup upped their target price on shares of Southwest Airlines from $59.00 to $62.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, November 29th. Imperial Capital reaffirmed an “in-line” rating and issued a $62.00 target price (up from $56.00) on shares of Southwest Airlines in a report on Tuesday, December 4th. Wolfe Research raised shares of Southwest Airlines from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, December 7th. Finally, Cowen cut shares of Southwest Airlines from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and dropped their target price for the company from $65.00 to $54.00 in a report on Thursday, January 10th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the stock. Southwest Airlines presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $60.75.

Shares of LUV opened at $49.32 on Monday. Southwest Airlines Co has a 52 week low of $44.28 and a 52 week high of $64.02. The stock has a market capitalization of $27.26 billion, a P/E ratio of 11.63, a P/E/G ratio of 0.84 and a beta of 1.51. The company has a current ratio of 0.64, a quick ratio of 0.58 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.45.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 24th. The airline reported $1.17 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.06 by $0.11. Southwest Airlines had a net margin of 11.22% and a return on equity of 24.56%. The business had revenue of $5.70 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.68 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.77 EPS. Southwest Airlines’s quarterly revenue was up 8.5% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts expect that Southwest Airlines Co will post 5.13 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, March 27th. Investors of record on Wednesday, March 6th will be paid a $0.16 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, March 5th. This represents a $0.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.30%. Southwest Airlines’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 15.09%.

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Southwest Airlines Company Profile

Southwest Airlines Co operates a passenger airline that provides scheduled air transportation services in the United States and near-international markets. As of December 31, 2018, the company operated a total of 750 Boeing 737 aircraft; and served 99 destinations in 40 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, as well as 10 near-international countries, including Mexico, Jamaica, the Bahamas, Aruba, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Belize, Cuba, the Cayman Islands, and Turks and Caicos.

Further Reading: Net Income

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

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