Southwest Airlines Company (LUV) Downgraded by BidaskClub

BidaskClub cut shares of Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Monday, July 24th.

Several other research firms have also issued reports on LUV. Sanford C. Bernstein reiterated an outperform rating and set a $70.00 price target on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research report on Thursday, July 13th. Morgan Stanley reiterated an overweight rating on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research report on Friday, April 7th. Vetr upgraded shares of Southwest Airlines from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $64.21 price target on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, June 27th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Southwest Airlines from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Friday, June 2nd. Finally, Bank of America Corporation raised their target price on shares of Southwest Airlines from $62.00 to $75.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Friday, June 30th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating, twelve have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $65.66.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE LUV) traded up 0.04% during midday trading on Monday, reaching $53.17. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 6,061,487 shares. Southwest Airlines has a 52 week low of $36.05 and a 52 week high of $64.39. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $58.49 and a 200-day moving average price of $57.27. The firm has a market cap of $31.83 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.30 and a beta of 1.26.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The airline reported $1.24 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.20 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $5.74 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.73 billion. Southwest Airlines had a net margin of 9.63% and a return on equity of 26.07%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.19 EPS. On average, analysts forecast that Southwest Airlines will post $3.80 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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Southwest Airlines declared that its board has initiated a stock buyback plan on Wednesday, May 17th that allows the company to buyback $2.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the airline to reacquire up to 5.8% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are typically a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are 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 paid a dividend of $0.125 per share. This represents a $0.50 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.94%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, August 22nd. Southwest Airlines’s payout ratio is currently 15.34%.

In related news, SVP Mark R. Shaw sold 3,823 shares of Southwest Airlines stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $59.13, for a total transaction of $226,053.99. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 7,784 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $460,267.92. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, Director William H. Dr Cunningham bought 4,500 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 11th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $54.00 per share, with a total value of $243,000.00. Following the purchase, the director now directly owns 66,969 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,616,326. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders have sold 47,218 shares of company stock valued at $2,838,204 in the last three months. 0.21% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in LUV. WFG Advisors LP increased its stake in Southwest Airlines by 25.8% in the second quarter. WFG Advisors LP now owns 4,931 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $306,000 after buying an additional 1,010 shares during the period. Toronto Dominion Bank increased its stake in Southwest Airlines by 23.8% in the second quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 199,566 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $12,398,000 after buying an additional 38,315 shares during the period. Cookson Peirce & Co. Inc. bought a new stake in Southwest Airlines during the second quarter valued at $20,622,000. Advisory Services Network LLC increased its stake in Southwest Airlines by 1.0% in the second quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 13,716 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $852,000 after buying an additional 132 shares during the period. Finally, U S Global Investors Inc. increased its stake in Southwest Airlines by 63.7% in the second quarter. U S Global Investors Inc. now owns 245,443 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $13,703,000 after buying an additional 95,484 shares during the period. 80.58% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Southwest Airlines Company Profile

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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