South Dakota Investment Council continued to hold its position in Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV) during the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 18,600 shares of the airline’s stock at the close of the second quarter. South Dakota Investment Council’s holdings in Southwest Airlines were worth $1,156,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other hedge funds have also recently bought and sold shares of the stock. BDO Wealth Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Southwest Airlines during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $102,000. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America grew its holdings in shares of 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 acquiring an additional 15 shares in the last quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp grew its holdings 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 acquiring an additional 154 shares in the last quarter. National Pension Service bought a new position in shares of Southwest Airlines in the second quarter valued at approximately $141,000. Finally, TrimTabs Asset Management LLC grew its holdings 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 acquiring an additional 1,328 shares in the last quarter. 79.42% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV) opened at 54.66 on Thursday. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $54.06 and its 200 day moving average price is $56.97. Southwest Airlines Company has a 1-year low of $36.31 and a 1-year high of $64.39. The stock has a market cap of $32.72 billion, a PE ratio of 16.76 and a beta of 1.29.

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 Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.20 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $5.74 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.73 billion. Southwest Airlines had a return on equity of 26.07% and a net margin of 9.63%. Southwest Airlines’s revenue was up 6.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.19 earnings per share. Equities research analysts expect that Southwest Airlines Company will post $3.73 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 14th. Investors of record on Thursday, August 24th will be issued a dividend of $0.125 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, August 22nd. This represents a $0.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.91%. Southwest Airlines’s payout ratio is presently 15.34%.

Southwest Airlines announced that its board has authorized a stock buyback program on Wednesday, May 17th that permits the company to buyback $2.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the airline to purchase up to 5.8% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are generally an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

In related news, Director William H. Dr Cunningham purchased 4,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, August 11th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $54.00 per share, for a total transaction of $243,000.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now directly owns 66,969 shares in the company, valued at $3,616,326. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. 0.21% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several equities analysts have weighed in on the company. Bank of America Corporation increased their price objective on Southwest Airlines from $62.00 to $75.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, June 30th. BidaskClub downgraded Southwest Airlines from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, July 24th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Southwest Airlines from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, June 5th. Wolfe Research downgraded Southwest Airlines from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $63.00 price objective on the stock. in a research report on Monday, July 10th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Vetr upgraded Southwest Airlines from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $64.53 price objective on the stock in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating, eleven have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $67.04.

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.

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

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