Prudential Financial Inc. boosted its position in shares of Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV) by 7.3% during the third quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 4,190,289 shares of the airline’s stock after buying an additional 284,963 shares during the period. Prudential Financial Inc. owned approximately 0.68% of Southwest Airlines worth $162,961,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently modified their holdings of the company. Wedbush Securities Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Southwest Airlines during the third quarter worth approximately $349,000. Sentry Investment Management LLC raised its position in Southwest Airlines by 2.6% in the third quarter. Sentry Investment Management LLC now owns 49,119 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $1,910,000 after buying an additional 1,234 shares in the last quarter. Assetmark Inc. raised its position in Southwest Airlines by 32.4% in the third quarter. Assetmark Inc. now owns 14,866 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $578,000 after buying an additional 3,641 shares in the last quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC raised its position in Southwest Airlines by 153.2% in the third quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC now owns 5,556 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $216,000 after buying an additional 3,362 shares in the last quarter. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its position 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 in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 75.66% of the company’s stock.

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

Shares of Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV) opened at 47.52 on Tuesday. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $42.69 and its 200 day moving average price is $40.03. The company has a market cap of $29.25 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.51 and a beta of 0.86. Southwest Airlines Co. has a 12 month low of $33.96 and a 12 month high of $51.34.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 26th. The airline reported $0.93 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ 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 firm earned $5.10 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.17 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.94 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was down 3.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts expect that Southwest Airlines Co. will post $3.66 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, January 5th. Shareholders 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 of this dividend is Tuesday, December 6th. Southwest Airlines’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 11.40%.

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A number of analysts have recently weighed in on the company. Bank of America Corp. set a $50.00 target price on Southwest Airlines and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Saturday, October 1st. Vetr upgraded Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $38.00 target price on the stock in a report on Monday, August 15th. Citigroup Inc. initiated coverage on Southwest Airlines in a report on Friday, November 18th. They set a “buy” rating and a $57.00 price objective on the stock. Imperial Capital initiated coverage on Southwest Airlines in a report on Friday, September 9th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $46.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Southwest Airlines from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, November 22nd. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $50.70.

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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