Southwest Airlines’ (LUV) Buy Rating Reaffirmed at Stifel Nicolaus

Stifel Nicolaus reiterated their buy rating on shares of Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV) in a research report report published on Wednesday morning. They currently have a $80.00 price objective on the airline’s stock.

A number of other research analysts have also weighed in on LUV. Zacks Investment Research lowered Southwest Airlines from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, August 1st. Deutsche Bank AG reiterated a buy rating and set a $71.00 target price on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research report on Friday, October 27th. Cowen and Company reiterated an outperform rating and set a $64.00 target price (up from $62.00) on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research report on Friday, October 27th. Sanford C. Bernstein reiterated an outperform rating and set a $70.00 target price on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research report on Thursday, July 13th. Finally, Wolfe Research upgraded Southwest Airlines from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a research report on Friday, August 18th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $67.19.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE LUV) opened at $54.14 on Wednesday. Southwest Airlines has a twelve month low of $39.56 and a twelve month high of $64.39. The stock has a market capitalization of $32,126.03, a P/E ratio of 15.60, a PEG ratio of 1.80 and a beta of 1.31. The company has a quick ratio of 0.55, a current ratio of 0.61 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.46.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 26th. The airline reported $0.88 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.01. Southwest Airlines had a return on equity of 24.85% and a net margin of 10.12%. The firm had revenue of $5.27 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.29 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.93 earnings per share. Southwest Airlines’s quarterly revenue was up 2.6% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts forecast that Southwest Airlines will post 3.56 EPS for the current year.

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In other news, Director William H. Dr Cunningham purchased 4,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, August 11th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $54.00 per share, for a total transaction of $243,000.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now directly owns 66,969 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,616,326. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 0.21% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 4,163.3% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 34,983,319 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $1,880,703,000 after buying an additional 34,162,752 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp grew its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 1.5% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 23,480,558 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $1,262,308,000 after buying an additional 353,960 shares in the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. grew its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 13.1% in the second quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 8,836,067 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $549,016,000 after buying an additional 1,026,892 shares in the last quarter. Boston Partners grew its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 101.7% in the third quarter. Boston Partners now owns 4,980,739 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $278,822,000 after buying an additional 2,511,258 shares in the last quarter. Finally, APG Asset Management N.V. grew its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 16.8% in the third quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 4,592,536 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $257,090,000 after buying an additional 660,500 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 79.55% of the company’s stock.

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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