Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co. Ltd. lowered its position in shares of Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV) by 8.3% during the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The firm owned 28,160 shares of the airline’s stock after selling 2,550 shares during the period. Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co. Ltd.’s holdings in Southwest Airlines were worth $1,750,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other large investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in LUV. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America boosted its stake in Southwest Airlines by 0.6% in the first quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America now owns 2,374 shares of the airline’s stock worth $128,000 after buying an additional 15 shares in the last quarter. Buckingham Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in Southwest Airlines by 0.3% in the first quarter. Buckingham Asset Management LLC now owns 5,690 shares of the airline’s stock worth $306,000 after buying an additional 16 shares in the last quarter. Bank of Hawaii boosted its stake in Southwest Airlines by 0.3% in the first quarter. Bank of Hawaii now owns 12,867 shares of the airline’s stock worth $692,000 after buying an additional 35 shares in the last quarter. First Heartland Consultants Inc. boosted its stake in Southwest Airlines by 0.3% in the first quarter. First Heartland Consultants Inc. now owns 16,293 shares of the airline’s stock worth $876,000 after buying an additional 43 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Harwood Advisory Group LLC boosted its stake in Southwest Airlines by 0.9% in the second quarter. Harwood Advisory Group LLC now owns 5,607 shares of the airline’s stock worth $348,000 after buying an additional 51 shares in the last quarter. 80.58% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE LUV) opened at 53.15 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $31.81 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.30 and a beta of 1.26. Southwest Airlines Company has a 52-week low of $36.05 and a 52-week high of $64.39. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $58.74 and a 200 day moving average price of $57.27.
Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The airline reported $1.24 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.20 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $5.74 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.73 billion. Southwest Airlines had a return on equity of 26.07% and a net margin of 9.63%. Southwest Airlines’s quarterly revenue was up 6.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $1.19 earnings per share. Analysts anticipate that Southwest Airlines Company will post $3.80 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 14th. Investors of record on Thursday, August 24th will be issued a $0.125 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, August 22nd. This represents a $0.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.94%. Southwest Airlines’s payout ratio is 15.34%.
Southwest Airlines announced that its Board of Directors has approved a share buyback plan on Wednesday, May 17th that permits the company to buyback $2.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the airline to buy up to 5.8% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are typically a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.
A number of research firms recently weighed in on LUV. Zacks Investment Research raised Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $67.00 price target for the company in a report on Tuesday, June 13th. Morgan Stanley set a $64.00 price target on Southwest Airlines and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday. BidaskClub cut Southwest Airlines from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, June 9th. Vetr raised Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $63.80 price target for the company in a report on Monday, June 5th. Finally, Argus raised Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price target for the company from $61.76 to $68.00 in a report on Thursday, June 22nd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating, eleven have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $65.66.
In related news, EVP Jeff Lamb sold 19,800 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.00, for a total value of $1,207,800.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 92,468 shares in the company, valued at $5,640,548. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, SVP Mark R. Shaw sold 3,823 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $59.13, for a total value of $226,053.99. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 7,784 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $460,267.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 47,218 shares of company stock valued at $2,838,204 over the last 90 days. 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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