Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV) has earned an average rating of “Buy” from the twenty brokerages that are covering the company, MarketBeat Ratings reports. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and fourteen have given a buy rating to the company. The average 12 month price target among brokers that have covered the stock in the last year is $67.17.

A number of analysts recently issued reports on LUV shares. Bank of America Corporation lifted their target price on Southwest Airlines from $62.00 to $75.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research 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. Wolfe Research downgraded Southwest Airlines from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $63.00 target price on the stock. in a research report on Monday, July 10th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Vetr raised Southwest Airlines from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $64.53 target price on the stock in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. Finally, Citigroup Inc. reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $64.00 target price (down previously from $65.00) on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research report on Thursday, September 7th.

Shares of Southwest Airlines (LUV) traded down 0.15% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $58.29. The stock had a trading volume of 3,704,234 shares. The stock has a market cap of $34.89 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.87 and a beta of 1.32. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $53.95 and its 200 day moving average price is $56.88. Southwest Airlines has a 12-month low of $36.91 and a 12-month high of $64.39.

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, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.20 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $5.74 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.73 billion. Southwest Airlines had a return on equity of 26.07% and a net margin of 9.63%. Southwest Airlines’s quarterly revenue was up 6.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.19 earnings per share. Equities analysts forecast that Southwest Airlines will post $3.64 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 14th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, August 24th were issued a dividend of $0.125 per share. This represents a $0.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.86%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, August 22nd. Southwest Airlines’s dividend payout ratio is presently 15.34%.

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In other news, Director William H. Dr Cunningham acquired 4,500 shares of Southwest Airlines stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 11th. The stock was bought at an average price of $54.00 per share, for a total transaction of $243,000.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now directly owns 66,969 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,616,326. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Insiders own 0.21% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. BDO Wealth Advisors LLC bought a new stake in shares of Southwest Airlines during the second quarter worth approximately $102,000. Pittenger & Anderson Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Southwest Airlines by 13.5% during the second quarter. Pittenger & Anderson Inc. now owns 2,100 shares of the airline’s stock worth $130,000 after acquiring an additional 250 shares during the period. National Pension Service bought a new stake in shares of Southwest Airlines during the second quarter worth approximately $141,000. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America boosted its holdings in shares of Southwest Airlines by 0.6% during the first quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America now owns 2,374 shares of the airline’s stock worth $128,000 after acquiring an additional 15 shares during the period. Finally, Harfst & Associates Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Southwest Airlines by 43.8% during the second quarter. Harfst & Associates Inc. now owns 2,402 shares of the airline’s stock worth $149,000 after acquiring an additional 732 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 79.42% 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.

Analyst Recommendations for Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV)

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