Analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein assumed coverage on shares of Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV) in a note issued to investors on Monday. The firm set an “outperform” rating and a $51.00 price target on the airline’s stock. Sanford C. Bernstein’s price target points to a potential upside of 28.24% from the stock’s current price. The analysts noted that the move was a valuation call.

A number of other equities research analysts also recently weighed in on LUV. Cowen and Company reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Southwest Airlines in a report on Sunday, June 26th. Bank of America Corp. set a $50.00 price target on shares of Southwest Airlines and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday, October 1st. Vetr raised shares of Southwest Airlines from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $43.50 price objective for the company in a research note on Wednesday, September 28th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 14th. Finally, Imperial Capital assumed coverage on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research note on Friday, September 9th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $46.00 price objective for the company. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating, eleven have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. Southwest Airlines has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $47.86.

Analyst Recommendations for Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV)

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) traded up 0.96% during midday trading on Monday, reaching $40.15. 3,608,300 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The stock has a market capitalization of $24.90 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.65 and a beta of 0.79. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $37.56 and its 200 day moving average price is $40.47. Southwest Airlines has a 52 week low of $33.96 and a 52 week high of $51.34.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 21st. The airline reported $1.19 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ 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 business earned $5.38 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.41 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.03 earnings per share. Southwest Airlines’s revenue was up 5.3% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts expect that Southwest Airlines will post $3.78 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Southwest Airlines news, SVP Mark R. Shaw sold 1,776 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, July 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $37.62, for a total transaction of $66,813.12. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 5,226 shares in the company, valued at $196,602.12. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Gary C. Kelly purchased 28,106 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 2nd. The shares were bought at an average price of $35.58 per share, for a total transaction of $1,000,011.48. Following the acquisition, the insider now owns 505,119 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $17,972,134.02. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Company insiders own 0.18% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Strs Ohio increased its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 393.0% in the second quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 776,030 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $30,428,000 after buying an additional 618,608 shares during the last quarter. Calamos Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 15.9% in the second quarter. Calamos Advisors LLC now owns 1,242,786 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $48,730,000 after buying an additional 170,752 shares during the last quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 97.8% in the first quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,151,824 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $51,602,000 after buying an additional 569,576 shares during the last quarter. Capital Fund Management S.A. increased its stake in shares of 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. Finally, Anchor Bolt Capital LP increased its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 2.5% in the first quarter. Anchor Bolt Capital LP now owns 4,100,671 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $183,710,000 after buying an additional 99,921 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 78.34% of the company’s stock.

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.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:LUV

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