Sanford C. Bernstein initiated coverage on shares of Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV) in a research report report published on Monday. The firm issued an outperform rating and a $51.00 price target on the airline’s stock. The analysts noted that the move was a valuation call.
A number of other research firms have also commented on LUV. Credit Suisse Group AG reaffirmed an outperform rating on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research report on Wednesday, July 6th. Bank of America Corp. set a $50.00 price target on shares of Southwest Airlines and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Saturday, October 1st. Buckingham Research lowered shares of Southwest Airlines from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a research report on Friday, July 22nd. Vetr lowered shares of Southwest Airlines from a strong-buy rating to a strong sell rating and set a $34.96 price target on the stock. in a research report on Monday, July 11th. Finally, Imperial Capital initiated coverage on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research report on Friday, September 9th. They set an outperform rating and a $46.00 price target on the stock. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating, eleven have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $48.36.
Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) opened at 41.38 on Monday. The firm has a market capitalization of $25.67 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.98 and a beta of 0.80. Southwest Airlines has a 12 month low of $33.96 and a 12 month high of $51.34. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $37.89 and its 200-day moving average is $40.47.
Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 21st. The airline reported $1.19 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.21 by $0.02. The company earned $5.38 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.41 billion. Southwest Airlines had a net margin of 11.95% and a return on equity of 34.25%. Southwest Airlines’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.03 earnings per share. Equities analysts anticipate that Southwest Airlines will post $3.78 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
In other Southwest Airlines news, Director William H. Dr Cunningham bought 5,700 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 3rd. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $35.80 per share, for a total transaction of $204,060.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 56,283 shares in the company, valued at $2,014,931.40. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, insider Gary C. Kelly bought 28,106 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 2nd. The shares were acquired at an average price of $35.58 per share, for a total transaction of $1,000,011.48. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 505,119 shares in the company, valued at $17,972,134.02. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 0.18% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in Southwest Airlines by 1.9% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 38,790,694 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $1,520,983,000 after buying an additional 739,007 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp increased its stake in Southwest Airlines by 1.7% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 22,391,063 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $1,003,110,000 after buying an additional 373,352 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. increased its stake in Southwest Airlines by 2.3% in the second quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 17,921,904 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $702,718,000 after buying an additional 397,249 shares in the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can acquired a new stake in Southwest Airlines during the second quarter valued at approximately $246,179,000. Finally, Janus Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Southwest Airlines by 20.1% in the second quarter. Janus Capital Management LLC now owns 5,796,281 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $227,272,000 after buying an additional 969,666 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 78.34% of the company’s stock.
About Southwest Airlines
Southwest Airlines Co (Southwest) operates Southwest Airlines. Southwest is a passenger airline that provides scheduled air transportation in the United States and near-international markets. The Company serves approximately 100 destinations in over 40 states, such as the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and approximately seven near-international countries, including Mexico, Jamaica, The Bahamas, Aruba, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, and Belize.
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