Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV) was upgraded by Vetr from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Thursday. The brokerage presently has a $46.22 price target on the airline’s stock. Vetr‘s price objective suggests a potential downside of 2.43% from the stock’s previous close.

A number of other research firms also recently issued reports on LUV. Bank of America Corp. set a $50.00 price objective on shares of Southwest Airlines and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday, October 1st. Citigroup Inc. initiated coverage on shares of Southwest Airlines in a report on Friday, November 18th. They set a “buy” rating and a $57.00 price objective for the company. Imperial Capital initiated coverage on shares of Southwest Airlines in a report on Friday, September 9th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $46.00 price objective for the company. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Southwest Airlines from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised shares of Southwest Airlines from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $51.50 price objective for the company in a report on Thursday, October 27th. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. Southwest Airlines currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $50.70.

Analyst Recommendations for Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV)

Shares of Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) traded up 0.57% during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $47.37. 5,317,703 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. Southwest Airlines has a one year low of $33.96 and a one year high of $51.34. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $42.11 and a 200-day moving average price of $39.99. The stock has a market cap of $29.16 billion, a PE ratio of 13.47 and a beta of 0.86.

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

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, January 5th. Investors of record on Thursday, December 8th will be paid a dividend of $0.10 per share. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.84%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, December 6th. Southwest Airlines’s payout ratio is currently 11.40%.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of LUV. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in Southwest Airlines by 1.9% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 38,790,694 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $1,520,983,000 after buying an additional 739,007 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. raised its stake in Southwest Airlines by 2.3% in the second quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 17,921,904 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $702,718,000 after buying an additional 397,249 shares during the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its stake in Southwest Airlines by 73.0% in the third quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 9,420,861 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $366,379,000 after buying an additional 3,975,382 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors raised its stake in Southwest Airlines by 1.5% in the third quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 7,995,923 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $310,961,000 after buying an additional 118,784 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD raised its stake in Southwest Airlines by 8.9% in the third quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 7,336,776 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $285,327,000 after buying an additional 600,491 shares during the last quarter. 78.51% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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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