Financial Counselors Inc. lifted its position in Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV) by 3.0% in the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 24,155 shares of the airline’s stock after purchasing an additional 702 shares during the period. Financial Counselors Inc.’s holdings in Southwest Airlines were worth $1,501,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Pittenger & Anderson Inc. increased its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 13.5% in the second quarter. Pittenger & Anderson Inc. now owns 2,100 shares of the airline’s stock worth $130,000 after purchasing an additional 250 shares in the last quarter. HPM Partners LLC increased its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 56.7% in the second quarter. HPM Partners LLC now owns 6,732 shares of the airline’s stock worth $612,000 after purchasing an additional 2,436 shares in the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 65.4% in the second quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 2,555,887 shares of the airline’s stock worth $158,823,000 after purchasing an additional 1,010,966 shares in the last quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. increased its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 792.6% in the second quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 82,433 shares of the airline’s stock worth $5,123,000 after purchasing an additional 73,198 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Eaton Vance Management increased its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 5.2% in the second quarter. Eaton Vance Management now owns 105,587 shares of the airline’s stock worth $6,561,000 after purchasing an additional 5,264 shares in the last quarter. 79.42% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV) opened at 53.60 on Tuesday. Southwest Airlines Company has a 52-week low of $36.31 and a 52-week high of $64.39. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $54.25 and its 200 day moving average is $57.03. The company has a market cap of $32.08 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.44 and a beta of 1.29.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last released its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The airline reported $1.24 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.20 by $0.04. Southwest Airlines had a net margin of 9.63% and a return on equity of 26.07%. The business had revenue of $5.74 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.73 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.19 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts predict that Southwest Airlines Company will post $3.76 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 14th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, August 24th will be issued a dividend of $0.125 per share. This represents a $0.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.93%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, August 22nd. Southwest Airlines’s payout ratio is 15.34%.

Southwest Airlines declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Wednesday, May 17th that permits the company to buyback $2.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the airline to buy up to 5.8% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

In other Southwest Airlines news, Director William H. Dr Cunningham bought 4,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 11th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $54.00 per share, with a total value of $243,000.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now directly owns 66,969 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,616,326. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. 0.21% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

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LUV has been the subject of a number of analyst reports. Sanford C. Bernstein reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $70.00 price objective on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research note on Thursday, July 13th. BidaskClub cut shares of Southwest Airlines from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 12th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Southwest Airlines from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 1st. Vetr raised shares of Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $64.21 price objective for the company in a research note on Tuesday, June 27th. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating, twelve have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $66.10.

About Southwest Airlines

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)

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