Analysts Expect Southwest Airlines (LUV) to Announce $0.75 EPS

Brokerages forecast that Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) will report earnings per share of $0.75 for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks reports. Five analysts have provided estimates for Southwest Airlines’ earnings, with estimates ranging from $0.72 to $0.83. Southwest Airlines posted earnings of $0.61 per share in the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year-over-year growth rate of 23%. The business is scheduled to announce its next earnings results before the market opens on Thursday, April 26th.

On average, analysts expect that Southwest Airlines will report full year earnings of $4.85 per share for the current fiscal year, with EPS estimates ranging from $4.70 to $5.05. For the next fiscal year, analysts forecast that the business will post earnings of $5.70 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $5.20 to $6.50. Zacks Investment Research’s earnings per share calculations are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side research analysts that cover Southwest Airlines.

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Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, January 25th. The airline reported $0.77 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.76 by $0.01. Southwest Airlines had a return on equity of 23.43% and a net margin of 16.48%. The firm had revenue of $5.27 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.25 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.75 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 3.9% on a year-over-year basis.

Several brokerages have weighed in on LUV. Stephens set a $74.00 price objective on Southwest Airlines and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday. Morgan Stanley lowered their price objective on Southwest Airlines from $72.00 to $69.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, April 12th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 11th. Buckingham Research upgraded Southwest Airlines from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $106.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Thursday, March 22nd. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, UBS lowered their price objective on Southwest Airlines from $75.00 to $70.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, March 22nd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and sixteen have given a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $70.40.

In related news, Director Douglas H. Brooks sold 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, March 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.05, for a total value of $600,500.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 56,269 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,378,953.45. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, COO De Ven Michael G. Van sold 31,099 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, March 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.35, for a total value of $1,783,527.65. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 172,883 shares in the company, valued at $9,914,840.05. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 108,473 shares of company stock worth $6,296,091 over the last three months. Insiders own 0.23% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Neuberger Berman Group LLC boosted its holdings in Southwest Airlines by 13.1% in the third quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 113,092 shares of the airline’s stock worth $6,331,000 after acquiring an additional 13,073 shares in the last quarter. IFM Investors Pty Ltd bought a new stake in Southwest Airlines in the third quarter worth $286,000. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio boosted its holdings in Southwest Airlines by 0.3% in the third quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 441,505 shares of the airline’s stock worth $24,715,000 after acquiring an additional 1,455 shares in the last quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC boosted its holdings in Southwest Airlines by 4.4% in the third quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 1,585,066 shares of the airline’s stock worth $88,732,000 after acquiring an additional 66,544 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Atlantic Trust Group LLC boosted its holdings in Southwest Airlines by 4.3% in the third quarter. Atlantic Trust Group LLC now owns 31,373 shares of the airline’s stock worth $1,757,000 after acquiring an additional 1,294 shares in the last quarter. 80.11% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

LUV stock traded down $0.03 during midday trading on Monday, hitting $54.77. The company had a trading volume of 5,031,650 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,845,755. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.45, a quick ratio of 0.64 and a current ratio of 0.70. Southwest Airlines has a 52 week low of $49.76 and a 52 week high of $66.99. The company has a market capitalization of $32,219.71, a P/E ratio of 15.66, a PEG ratio of 1.41 and a beta of 1.14.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, March 28th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, March 7th were paid a dividend of $0.125 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, March 6th. This represents a $0.50 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.91%. Southwest Airlines’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 14.29%.

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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.

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Earnings History and Estimates for Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV)

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