Southwest Airlines (LUV) Plans Dividend Increase – $0.16 Per Share

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) declared a quarterly dividend on Thursday, May 17th, Wall Street Journal reports. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, June 6th will be given a dividend of 0.16 per share by the airline on Wednesday, June 27th. This represents a $0.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.22%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, June 5th. This is a boost from Southwest Airlines’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.13.

Southwest Airlines has increased its dividend by an average of 31.0% annually over the last three years and has increased its dividend every year for the last 6 years. Southwest Airlines has a payout ratio of 14.2% meaning its dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. Equities research analysts expect Southwest Airlines to earn $5.31 per share next year, which means the company should continue to be able to cover its $0.50 annual dividend with an expected future payout ratio of 9.4%.

Southwest Airlines opened at $52.47 on Friday, according to Marketbeat.com. Southwest Airlines has a 52 week low of $51.61 and a 52 week high of $52.98. The stock has a market cap of $30.74 billion, a PE ratio of 14.99, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.88 and a beta of 1.16. The company has a quick ratio of 0.61, a current ratio of 0.67 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.50.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 26th. The airline reported $0.75 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.74 by $0.01. Southwest Airlines had a net margin of 16.95% and a return on equity of 23.25%. The firm had revenue of $4.94 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.61 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.9% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts forecast that Southwest Airlines will post 4.56 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director Douglas H. Brooks sold 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, March 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $60.05, for a total value of $600,500.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 56,269 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,378,953.45. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Chairman Gary C. Kelly sold 38,779 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, February 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.95, for a total transaction of $2,247,243.05. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now directly owns 581,029 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $33,670,630.55. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 108,473 shares of company stock valued at $6,296,091 over the last three months. 0.23% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several equities research analysts have recently commented on LUV shares. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 11th. Stephens set a $74.00 price target on shares of Southwest Airlines and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 17th. Imperial Capital reduced their price target on shares of Southwest Airlines from $75.00 to $68.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, April 27th. Morgan Stanley reduced their price target on shares of Southwest Airlines from $74.00 to $72.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, March 26th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase lowered shares of Southwest Airlines from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $70.00 price target for the company. in a research report on Tuesday, January 30th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and sixteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $68.55.

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, 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.

Dividend History for Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV)

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