First American Bank bought a new stake in Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV) during the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor bought 18,131 shares of the airline’s stock, valued at approximately $1,127,000.
Several other hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. DnB Asset Management AS purchased a new position in shares of Southwest Airlines during the first quarter worth approximately $697,000. GSA Capital Partners LLP increased its position in shares of Southwest Airlines by 22.3% in the fourth quarter. GSA Capital Partners LLP now owns 7,142 shares of the airline’s stock worth $356,000 after buying an additional 1,303 shares in the last quarter. Norman Fields Gottscho Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Southwest Airlines during the first quarter worth approximately $333,000. MARSHALL WACE ASIA Ltd purchased a new position in shares of Southwest Airlines during the first quarter worth approximately $22,797,000. Finally, Wealthfront Inc. increased its position in shares of Southwest Airlines by 14.9% in the fourth quarter. Wealthfront Inc. now owns 12,381 shares of the airline’s stock worth $617,000 after buying an additional 1,610 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 80.34% of the company’s stock.
Shares of Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE LUV) traded up 0.24% during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $54.14. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 4,231,102 shares. The firm has a market capitalization of $32.41 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.60 and a beta of 1.26. Southwest Airlines Company has a 1-year low of $36.05 and a 1-year high of $64.39. The company’s 50-day moving average is $59.77 and its 200 day moving average is $57.15.
Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The airline reported $1.24 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.20 by $0.04. Southwest Airlines had a return on equity of 26.07% and a net margin of 9.63%. The company had revenue of $5.74 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.73 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.19 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 6.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts expect that Southwest Airlines Company will post $3.80 earnings per share for the current year.
Southwest Airlines declared that its board has initiated a share repurchase plan on Wednesday, May 17th that permits the company to repurchase $2.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the airline to reacquire up to 5.8% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 14th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, August 24th will be given a $0.125 dividend. This represents a $0.50 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.92%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, August 22nd. Southwest Airlines’s dividend payout ratio is currently 15.34%.
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A number of equities research analysts have recently weighed in on LUV shares. Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $80.00 target price on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research report on Friday, May 26th. Deutsche Bank AG upped their target price on Southwest Airlines from $63.00 to $65.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, April 28th. ValuEngine upgraded Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, June 2nd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded 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, May 30th. Finally, Vetr upgraded Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $63.80 price objective on the stock in a research report on Monday, June 5th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating, eleven have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $65.78.
In related news, COO De Ven Michael G. Van sold 15,273 shares of Southwest Airlines stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.14, for a total transaction of $872,699.22. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 182,302 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $10,416,736.28. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Chairman Gary C. Kelly sold 51,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.06, for a total transaction of $2,910,060.00. Following the transaction, the chairman now owns 556,808 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $31,771,464.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 118,740 shares of company stock worth $6,923,568. 0.21% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
About Southwest Airlines
Southwest Airlines Co (Southwest) operates Southwest Airlines, a passenger airline that provides scheduled air transportation in the United States and near-international markets. The Company provides point-to-point service. The Company offers ancillary service offerings, such as Southwest’s EarlyBird Check-In and transportation of pets and unaccompanied minors, in accordance with Southwest’s respective policies.
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