Southwest Airlines’ (LUV) “Buy” Rating Reiterated at Cowen

Cowen reissued their buy rating on shares of Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday morning. Cowen currently has a $67.00 price objective on the airline’s stock.

Other equities analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. Bank of America downgraded Southwest Airlines from a buy rating to a neutral rating and set a $73.00 target price on the stock. in a research report on Tuesday. Vetr downgraded Southwest Airlines from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $59.16 target price on the stock. in a research report on Wednesday, October 4th. ValuEngine downgraded Southwest Airlines from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Barclays reiterated a hold rating and set a $61.00 price objective on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research report on Thursday, September 14th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded Southwest Airlines from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 20th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $67.93.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) traded up $0.52 during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $65.36. The stock had a trading volume of 3,810,000 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,980,000. The stock has a market capitalization of $38,780.00, a P/E ratio of 18.73, a PEG ratio of 1.37 and a beta of 1.35. Southwest Airlines has a 1-year low of $48.71 and a 1-year high of $66.99. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.46, a quick ratio of 0.55 and a current ratio of 0.61.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last released its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The airline reported $0.88 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $5.27 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.29 billion. Southwest Airlines had a return on equity of 24.85% and a net margin of 10.12%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 2.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.93 earnings per share. research analysts forecast that Southwest Airlines will post 3.52 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, January 4th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, December 7th were paid a dividend of $0.125 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, December 6th. This represents a $0.50 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.76%. Southwest Airlines’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 14.33%.

In other Southwest Airlines news, Director John T. Montford sold 935 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.94, for a total transaction of $50,433.90. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 25,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,348,500. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Robert E. Jordan sold 32,931 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, December 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $64.38, for a total value of $2,120,097.78. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 76,993 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,956,809.34. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 35,593 shares of company stock valued at $2,279,660. 0.21% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of LUV. BB&T Investment Services Inc. increased its stake in Southwest Airlines by 325.5% during the third quarter. BB&T Investment Services Inc. now owns 1,583 shares of the airline’s stock worth $110,000 after acquiring an additional 1,211 shares during the last quarter. Grove Bank & Trust increased its stake in Southwest Airlines by 365.0% during the third quarter. Grove Bank & Trust now owns 2,395 shares of the airline’s stock worth $134,000 after acquiring an additional 1,880 shares during the last quarter. Harfst & Associates Inc. increased its stake in Southwest Airlines by 43.8% during the second quarter. Harfst & Associates Inc. now owns 2,402 shares of the airline’s stock worth $149,000 after acquiring an additional 732 shares during the last quarter. Smith Moore & CO. acquired a new stake in Southwest Airlines during the third quarter worth $206,000. Finally, Courier Capital LLC acquired a new stake in Southwest Airlines during the third quarter worth $208,000. 78.55% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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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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