Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV) was the recipient of a significant increase in short interest in August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 11,354,260 shares, an increase of 58.6% from the August 15th total of 7,161,155 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 6,527,904 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 1.7 days. Currently, 1.9% of the shares of the stock are sold short.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) opened at 54.72 on Monday. Southwest Airlines has a 52-week low of $36.31 and a 52-week high of $64.39. The stock has a market capitalization of $32.75 billion, a PE ratio of 16.78 and a beta of 1.29. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $53.74 and its 200 day moving average is $56.91.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The airline reported $1.24 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.20 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $5.74 billion for 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 business’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.19 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts forecast that Southwest Airlines will post $3.73 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 14th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, August 24th were issued a $0.125 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, August 22nd. This represents a $0.50 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.91%. Southwest Airlines’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 15.34%.

In other news, Director William H. Dr Cunningham bought 4,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 11th. The shares were purchased 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 in the company, valued at $3,616,326. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. 0.21% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. USA Financial Portformulas Corp raised its holdings in Southwest Airlines by 169.7% in the second quarter. USA Financial Portformulas Corp now owns 69,570 shares of the airline’s stock worth $4,323,000 after purchasing an additional 43,775 shares during the period. Sentry Investment Management LLC raised its holdings in Southwest Airlines by 1.1% in the second quarter. Sentry Investment Management LLC now owns 49,266 shares of the airline’s stock worth $3,061,000 after purchasing an additional 512 shares during the period. WFG Advisors LP raised its holdings in Southwest Airlines by 25.8% in the second quarter. WFG Advisors LP now owns 4,931 shares of the airline’s stock worth $306,000 after purchasing an additional 1,010 shares during the period. Toronto Dominion Bank raised its holdings in Southwest Airlines by 23.8% in the second quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 199,566 shares of the airline’s stock worth $12,398,000 after purchasing an additional 38,315 shares during the period. Finally, Cookson Peirce & Co. Inc. acquired a new stake in Southwest Airlines in the second quarter worth $20,622,000. Institutional investors own 79.42% of the company’s stock.

Several equities research analysts recently commented on the company. Zacks Investment Research cut Southwest Airlines from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 1st. Morgan Stanley reissued an “overweight” rating on shares of Southwest Airlines in a report on Tuesday, September 12th. Barclays PLC reissued a “hold” rating and set a $61.00 target price on shares of Southwest Airlines in a report on Thursday. J P Morgan Chase & Co raised Southwest Airlines from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $60.00 to $66.00 in a report on Friday. Finally, Wolfe Research raised Southwest Airlines from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, August 18th. One 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 assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $67.77.

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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.

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