Southwest Airlines (LUV) Given Consensus Recommendation of “Buy” by Brokerages

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) has been given an average rating of “Buy” by the twenty-three ratings firms that are presently covering the company, Marketbeat.com reports. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and sixteen have issued a buy rating on the company. The average 12 month price objective among analysts that have covered the stock in the last year is $71.12.

Several equities research analysts have recently issued reports on LUV shares. Vetr cut shares of Southwest Airlines from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $63.03 price objective on the stock. in a research report on Tuesday, February 27th. UBS reduced their price objective on shares of Southwest Airlines from $75.00 to $70.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, March 22nd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $68.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, January 30th. Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $85.00 price objective (up previously from $80.00) on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research report on Wednesday, January 10th. Finally, Cowen reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $67.00 price objective on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research report on Tuesday, January 9th.

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Shares of Southwest Airlines stock traded up $1.55 on Wednesday, hitting $55.82. 6,500,513 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 5,188,463. The stock has a market cap of $32,272.63, a P/E ratio of 15.95, a PEG ratio of 1.41 and a beta of 1.14. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.45, a current ratio of 0.70 and a quick ratio of 0.64. Southwest Airlines has a 52 week low of $49.76 and a 52 week high of $66.99.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, January 25th. The airline reported $0.77 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.76 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $5.27 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.25 billion. Southwest Airlines had a net margin of 16.48% and a return on equity of 23.43%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.75 earnings per share. equities analysts expect that Southwest Airlines will post 4.86 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, March 28th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, March 7th were paid a dividend of $0.125 per share. This represents a $0.50 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.90%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, March 6th. Southwest Airlines’s payout ratio is 14.29%.

In other news, Director William H. Dr Cunningham acquired 3,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, February 12th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $56.25 per share, with a total value of $196,875.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now directly owns 70,469 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,963,881.25. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, EVP Gregory D. Wells sold 8,323 shares of Southwest Airlines stock in a transaction on Tuesday, February 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $58.88, for a total transaction of $490,058.24. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 30,262 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,781,826.56. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 108,473 shares of company stock valued at $6,296,091 over the last ninety days. 0.23% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Cerebellum GP LLC purchased a new position in Southwest Airlines during the fourth quarter worth $127,000. SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC purchased a new position in Southwest Airlines during the fourth quarter worth $136,000. Delpha Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in Southwest Airlines during the fourth quarter worth $151,000. Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC boosted its stake in Southwest Airlines by 580.7% during the fourth quarter. Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC now owns 2,607 shares of the airline’s stock worth $170,000 after buying an additional 2,224 shares during the period. Finally, Banco de Sabadell S.A purchased a new position in Southwest Airlines during the fourth quarter worth $178,000. 80.11% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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Southwest Airlines Company Profile

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, 2017, the company operated a total of 706 Boeing 737 aircraft; and served 100 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, Turks, and Chaos.

Analyst Recommendations for Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV)

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