Equities researchers at Citigroup Inc. started coverage on shares of Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV) in a research note issued to investors on Friday. The brokerage set a “buy” rating on the airline’s stock.

LUV has been the topic of several other reports. Credit Suisse Group AG set a $48.00 price objective on Southwest Airlines and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, September 12th. Evercore ISI raised Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and cut their price objective for the company from $47.00 to $37.36 in a research report on Tuesday, July 26th. Vetr raised Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $38.64 price objective on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, September 6th. Morgan Stanley reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $43.00 price objective on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research report on Sunday, August 21st. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein initiated coverage on Southwest Airlines in a research report on Monday, October 10th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $51.00 price objective on the stock. They noted that the move was a valuation call. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $49.32.

Analyst Recommendations for Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV)

Shares of Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) opened at 46.69 on Friday. Southwest Airlines has a 52-week low of $33.96 and a 52-week high of $51.34. The firm has a market capitalization of $28.74 billion, a PE ratio of 13.27 and a beta of 0.86. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $41.19 and its 200-day moving average price is $39.87.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 26th. The airline reported $0.93 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.88 by $0.05. Southwest Airlines had a return on equity of 32.51% and a net margin of 11.09%. The company had revenue of $5.10 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.17 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.94 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was down 3.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts predict that Southwest Airlines will post $3.66 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, January 5th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, December 8th will be paid a $0.10 dividend. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.86%. Southwest Airlines’s payout ratio is currently 11.40%.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Hanson McClain Inc. increased its position in shares of Southwest Airlines by 2.9% in the second quarter. Hanson McClain Inc. now owns 2,653 shares of the airline’s stock worth $104,000 after buying an additional 75 shares during the last quarter. Washington Trust Bank increased its position in shares of Southwest Airlines by 6.9% in the third quarter. Washington Trust Bank now owns 2,704 shares of the airline’s stock worth $105,000 after buying an additional 174 shares during the last quarter. Invictus RG increased its position in shares of Southwest Airlines by 637.0% in the second quarter. Invictus RG now owns 2,771 shares of the airline’s stock worth $109,000 after buying an additional 2,395 shares during the last quarter. 1832 Asset Management L.P. bought a new position in shares of Southwest Airlines during the second quarter worth approximately $115,000. Finally, Krilogy Financial LLC increased its position in shares of Southwest Airlines by 45.2% in the second quarter. Krilogy Financial LLC now owns 3,284 shares of the airline’s stock worth $129,000 after buying an additional 1,023 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 78.84% 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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