Shares of Southwest Airlines Co (NYSE:LUV) have received an average recommendation of “Hold” from the seventeen ratings firms that are currently covering the company, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, nine have assigned a hold recommendation and four have issued a buy recommendation on the company. The average 12-month price objective among brokerages that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $56.27.

A number of research firms have recently issued reports on LUV. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Southwest Airlines from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 16th. Imperial Capital reiterated an “in-line” rating and set a $55.00 price objective (up previously from $52.00) on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research note on Friday, April 26th. Cowen reiterated a “market perform” rating and set a $57.00 price objective (up previously from $55.00) on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research note on Friday, July 26th. Argus lowered shares of Southwest Airlines from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday. Finally, Morgan Stanley decreased their price target on shares of Southwest Airlines from $68.00 to $64.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, May 20th.

Shares of LUV traded down $0.13 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $49.92. 3,213,275 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 4,368,418. The stock has a market cap of $27.12 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.77, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.09 and a beta of 1.50. The firm has a fifty day moving average of $51.75. Southwest Airlines has a 12-month low of $44.28 and a 12-month high of $64.02. The company has a current ratio of 0.64, a quick ratio of 0.59 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.37.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 25th. The airline reported $1.37 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.35 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $5.91 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.94 billion. Southwest Airlines had a net margin of 10.73% and a return on equity of 24.12%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 2.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.26 earnings per share. As a group, research analysts predict that Southwest Airlines will post 4.35 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, September 11th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, August 21st will be given a dividend of $0.18 per share. This represents a $0.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.44%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, August 20th. Southwest Airlines’s payout ratio is currently 16.98%.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in LUV. Ballentine Partners LLC boosted its holdings in Southwest Airlines by 4.3% in the first quarter. Ballentine Partners LLC now owns 4,802 shares of the airline’s stock worth $250,000 after purchasing an additional 199 shares during the period. Haverford Financial Services Inc. boosted its holdings in Southwest Airlines by 1.2% in the first quarter. Haverford Financial Services Inc. now owns 16,400 shares of the airline’s stock worth $851,000 after purchasing an additional 200 shares during the period. Executive Wealth Management LLC boosted its holdings in Southwest Airlines by 19.8% in the second quarter. Executive Wealth Management LLC now owns 1,233 shares of the airline’s stock worth $63,000 after purchasing an additional 204 shares during the period. Sfmg LLC boosted its holdings in Southwest Airlines by 2.3% in the second quarter. Sfmg LLC now owns 9,098 shares of the airline’s stock worth $484,000 after purchasing an additional 207 shares during the period. Finally, Raymond James Trust N.A. boosted its holdings in Southwest Airlines by 2.1% in the first quarter. Raymond James Trust N.A. now owns 10,238 shares of the airline’s stock worth $532,000 after purchasing an additional 209 shares during the period. 84.25% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines Co operates a passenger airline that provides scheduled air transportation services in the United States and near-international markets. As of December 31, 2018, the company operated a total of 750 Boeing 737 aircraft; and served 99 destinations in 40 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, as well as 10 near-international countries, including Mexico, Jamaica, the Bahamas, Aruba, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Belize, Cuba, the Cayman Islands, and Turks and Caicos.

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Analyst Recommendations for Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV)

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