State of Wisconsin Investment Board boosted its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV) by 4.0% during the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 396,471 shares of the airline’s stock after buying an additional 15,380 shares during the period. State of Wisconsin Investment Board owned approximately 0.07% of Southwest Airlines worth $24,637,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America raised its stake in Southwest Airlines 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 during the last quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp raised its position in shares of Southwest Airlines by 6.6% in the first quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 2,502 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $135,000 after buying an additional 154 shares during the last quarter. National Pension Service bought a new position in shares of Southwest Airlines during the second quarter valued at approximately $141,000. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC raised its position in shares of Southwest Airlines 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 during the last quarter. Finally, Farmers & Merchants Investments Inc. raised its position in shares of Southwest Airlines by 2.9% in the second quarter. Farmers & Merchants Investments Inc. now owns 2,632 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $164,000 after buying an additional 75 shares during the last quarter. 80.58% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV) opened at 53.15 on Friday. Southwest Airlines Company has a 52 week low of $36.05 and a 52 week high of $64.39. The firm has a market cap of $31.81 billion, a PE ratio of 16.30 and a beta of 1.26. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $58.74 and its 200-day moving average is $57.27.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The airline reported $1.24 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.20 by $0.04. Southwest Airlines had a return on equity of 26.07% and a net margin of 9.63%. The business had revenue of $5.74 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.73 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.19 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 6.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts predict that Southwest Airlines Company will post $3.80 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Southwest Airlines declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback program on Wednesday, May 17th that allows the company to buyback $2.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the airline to buy up to 5.8% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are typically a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 14th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, August 24th will be paid a dividend of $0.125 per share. This represents a $0.50 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.94%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, August 22nd. Southwest Airlines’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 15.34%.

WARNING: “State of Wisconsin Investment Board Has $24.64 Million Position in Southwest Airlines Company (LUV)” was first reported by The Cerbat Gem and is the property of of The Cerbat Gem. If you are accessing this piece on another site, it was stolen and reposted in violation of U.S. and international copyright and trademark law. The original version of this piece can be read at https://www.thecerbatgem.com/2017/08/18/state-of-wisconsin-investment-board-has-24-64-million-position-in-southwest-airlines-company-luv.html.

LUV has been the subject of several research analyst reports. Bank of America Corporation increased their price objective on shares of Southwest Airlines from $62.00 to $75.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, June 30th. Deutsche Bank AG increased their price objective on shares of Southwest Airlines from $63.00 to $65.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, April 28th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Southwest Airlines from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, July 24th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Southwest Airlines from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, June 5th. Finally, Imperial Capital increased their price objective on shares of Southwest Airlines from $63.00 to $68.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, April 28th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating, eleven have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Southwest Airlines has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $65.66.

In other news, CFO Tammy Romo sold 8,322 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $59.15, for a total transaction of $492,246.30. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 87,387 shares in the company, valued at $5,168,941.05. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director William H. Dr Cunningham purchased 4,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 11th. The shares were bought at an average price of $54.00 per share, with a total value of $243,000.00. Following the purchase, the director now directly owns 66,969 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,616,326. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders have sold 47,218 shares of company stock valued at $2,838,204 in the last 90 days. Company insiders own 0.21% of the company’s stock.

Southwest Airlines 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.

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

Receive News & Stock Ratings for Southwest Airlines Company Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Southwest Airlines Company and related stocks with our FREE daily email newsletter.