Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV) EVP Gregory D. Wells sold 5,249 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $57.65, for a total value of $302,604.85. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 16,458 shares in the company, valued at $948,803.70. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link.

Shares of Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE LUV) traded up 0.30% on Friday, hitting $60.29. The stock had a trading volume of 6,207,589 shares. The firm has a market cap of $36.46 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.08 and a beta of 1.26. Southwest Airlines Company has a 12 month low of $35.42 and a 12 month high of $61.24. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $58.90 and its 200 day moving average price is $54.49.

Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 27th. The airline reported $0.61 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.62 by $0.01. Southwest Airlines Company had a return on equity of 26.75% and a net margin of 10.16%. The company had revenue of $4.88 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.91 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.88 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.2% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts anticipate that Southwest Airlines Company will post $3.84 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV)

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, June 28th. Investors of record on Wednesday, June 7th will be paid a dividend of $0.125 per share. This represents a $0.50 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.83%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, June 5th. This is a boost from Southwest Airlines Company’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.10. Southwest Airlines Company’s dividend payout ratio is currently 15.11%.

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Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Van ECK Associates Corp boosted its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines Company by 6.1% in the fourth quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 2,348 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $117,000 after buying an additional 136 shares in the last quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America boosted its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines Company by 0.6% in the first quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America now owns 2,374 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $128,000 after buying an additional 15 shares in the last quarter. Perennial Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Southwest Airlines Company during the fourth quarter valued at about $137,000. Independent Advisor Alliance acquired a new stake in shares of Southwest Airlines Company during the fourth quarter valued at about $143,000. Finally, TrimTabs Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines Company by 88.9% in the first quarter. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC now owns 2,821 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $152,000 after buying an additional 1,328 shares in the last quarter. 80.64% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Several research firms have recently weighed in on LUV. Stifel Nicolaus reissued a “buy” rating and set a $80.00 price target on shares of Southwest Airlines Company in a report on Friday, May 26th. Imperial Capital reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $63.00 price target on shares of Southwest Airlines Company in a report on Tuesday, March 14th. Vetr raised Southwest Airlines Company from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $57.21 price target on the stock in a report on Monday, March 13th. Zacks Investment Research raised Southwest Airlines Company from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $68.00 price target on the stock in a report on Tuesday, June 6th. Finally, Morgan Stanley reissued an “overweight” rating and set a $61.00 price target on shares of Southwest Airlines Company in a report on Wednesday, February 22nd. Six analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $59.13.

Southwest Airlines Company Company Profile

Southwest Airlines Co (Southwest) operates Southwest Airlines, a passenger airline that provides scheduled air transportation in the United States and near-international markets. The Company provides point-to-point service. The Company offers ancillary service offerings, such as Southwest’s EarlyBird Check-In and transportation of pets and unaccompanied minors, in accordance with Southwest’s respective policies.

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