Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV) was upgraded by equities research analysts at J P Morgan Chase & Co from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating in a report released on Friday. The brokerage currently has a $66.00 price target on the airline’s stock, up from their prior price target of $60.00. J P Morgan Chase & Co’s price objective indicates a potential upside of 20.61% from the company’s current price.

Several other equities analysts have also weighed in on the stock. 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. 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. Wolfe Research lowered shares of 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 raised shares of 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 equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating, twelve have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $67.77.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) opened at 54.72 on Friday. The company has a 50-day moving average of $53.74 and a 200 day moving average of $56.91. The company has a market cap of $32.75 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.78 and a beta of 1.29. Southwest Airlines has a one year low of $36.31 and a one year high of $64.39.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The airline reported $1.24 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.20 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $5.74 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.73 billion. Southwest Airlines had a net margin of 9.63% and a return on equity of 26.07%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.19 earnings per share. Equities research analysts predict that Southwest Airlines will post $3.73 EPS for the current year.

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

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BDO Wealth Advisors LLC bought a new stake in shares of Southwest Airlines in the 2nd quarter valued at $102,000. Pittenger & Anderson Inc. increased its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 13.5% in the 2nd quarter. Pittenger & Anderson Inc. now owns 2,100 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $130,000 after acquiring an additional 250 shares in the last quarter. National Pension Service bought a new stake in shares of Southwest Airlines in the 2nd quarter valued at $141,000. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America increased its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 0.6% in the 1st 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. Finally, Harfst & Associates Inc. increased its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 43.8% in the 2nd quarter. Harfst & Associates Inc. now owns 2,402 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $149,000 after acquiring an additional 732 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 79.42% of the company’s stock.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV)

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