Wall Street brokerages predict that Southwest Airlines Co (NYSE:LUV) will post $1.36 earnings per share (EPS) for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Five analysts have provided estimates for Southwest Airlines’ earnings, with the lowest EPS estimate coming in at $1.29 and the highest estimate coming in at $1.44. Southwest Airlines reported earnings of $1.24 per share in the same quarter last year, which would indicate a positive year over year growth rate of 9.7%. The company is expected to announce its next earnings results on Thursday, July 26th.
According to Zacks, analysts expect that Southwest Airlines will report full year earnings of $4.54 per share for the current financial year, with EPS estimates ranging from $4.35 to $4.90. For the next year, analysts expect that the company will report earnings of $5.30 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $5.10 to $5.60. Zacks’ earnings per share averages are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side analysts that that provide coverage for Southwest Airlines.
Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 26th. The airline reported $0.75 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.74 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $4.94 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5 billion. Southwest Airlines had a return on equity of 23.25% and a net margin of 16.95%. Southwest Airlines’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.61 EPS.
LUV has been the topic of several research reports. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 11th. Imperial Capital reduced their price objective on Southwest Airlines from $75.00 to $68.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, April 27th. Stephens set a $74.00 price objective on Southwest Airlines and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 17th. Cowen reduced their price objective on Southwest Airlines from $67.00 to $65.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, April 27th. Finally, Morgan Stanley reduced their price objective on Southwest Airlines from $74.00 to $72.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a report on Monday, March 26th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and seventeen have issued a buy rating to the company. Southwest Airlines has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $68.55.
In related news, Director Douglas H. Brooks sold 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction 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 owns 56,269 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,378,953.45. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, COO De Ven Michael G. Van sold 31,099 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, March 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $57.35, for a total transaction of $1,783,527.65. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now owns 172,883 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,914,840.05. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 49,422 shares of company stock worth $2,874,086. 0.23% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Archford Capital Strategies LLC bought a new stake in shares of Southwest Airlines in the 1st quarter valued at $121,000. Private Capital Group LLC increased its position in shares of Southwest Airlines by 819.2% in the 1st quarter. Private Capital Group LLC now owns 1,866 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $107,000 after buying an additional 1,663 shares in the last quarter. Cerebellum GP LLC bought a new stake in shares of Southwest Airlines in the 4th quarter valued at $127,000. SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Southwest Airlines in the 4th quarter valued at $136,000. Finally, Transamerica Financial Advisors Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Southwest Airlines in the 1st quarter valued at $128,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 80.23% of the company’s stock.
Southwest Airlines traded up $1.65, reaching $52.86, during trading hours on Monday, according to MarketBeat.com. 9,292,247 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 6,154,399. The firm has a market cap of $29.69 billion, a PE ratio of 15.10, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.85 and a beta of 1.16. Southwest Airlines has a one year low of $49.76 and a one year high of $66.99. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.50, a current ratio of 0.67 and a quick ratio of 0.61.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, June 27th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, June 6th will be paid a $0.16 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, June 5th. This represents a $0.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.21%. This is an increase from Southwest Airlines’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.13. Southwest Airlines’s dividend payout ratio is 14.29%.
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.
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