Vetr upgraded shares of Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV) from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research note released on Monday. They currently have $43.50 price target on the airline’s stock.

A number of other equities research analysts also recently issued reports on the stock. Bank of America Corp. set a $50.00 price objective on shares of Southwest Airlines and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Saturday, October 1st. Credit Suisse Group AG set a $48.00 price objective on shares of Southwest Airlines and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Monday, September 12th. 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 on the stock. Morgan Stanley reiterated a hold rating and set a $43.00 price objective on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research note on Sunday, August 21st. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded shares of Southwest Airlines from an overweight rating to a neutral rating and reduced their price objective for the stock from $52.50 to $34.00 in a research note on Wednesday, July 27th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating, eleven have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $47.86.

Analyst Recommendations for Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV)

Shares of Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) traded up 0.73% during midday trading on Monday, hitting $40.06. 1,241,242 shares of the stock traded hands. Southwest Airlines has a 52 week low of $33.96 and a 52 week high of $51.34. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $37.56 and its 200 day moving average is $40.47. The company has a market capitalization of $24.85 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.63 and a beta of 0.79.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last announced its quarterly earnings data 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 firm had revenue of $5.38 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.41 billion. Southwest Airlines had a return on equity of 34.25% and a net margin of 11.95%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 5.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $1.03 earnings per share. Equities analysts forecast that Southwest Airlines will post $3.78 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, COO De Ven Michael G. Van acquired 4,200 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 3rd. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $35.77 per share, for a total transaction of $150,234.00. Following the purchase, the chief operating officer now owns 183,245 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,554,673.65. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, Director William H. Dr Cunningham acquired 5,700 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 3rd. The stock was purchased at an average price of $35.80 per share, for a total transaction of $204,060.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now directly owns 56,283 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,014,931.40. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders own 0.18% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in LUV. Bank of Montreal Can purchased a new stake in shares of Southwest Airlines during the second quarter worth about $246,179,000. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 60.1% in the second quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 5,445,479 shares of the airline’s stock worth $213,519,000 after buying an additional 2,044,766 shares in the last quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 53.3% in the second quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 5,238,342 shares of the airline’s stock worth $205,395,000 after buying an additional 1,821,829 shares in the last quarter. Emerald Acquisition Ltd. purchased a new stake in shares of Southwest Airlines during the second quarter worth about $58,545,000. Finally, Capital Fund Management S.A. boosted 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 worth $67,370,000 after buying an additional 1,418,012 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds 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.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:LUV

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