Southwest Airlines (LUV) Receives New Coverage from Analysts at Susquehanna Bancshares

Susquehanna Bancshares began coverage on shares of Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) in a research note published on Wednesday, Marketbeat reports. The firm issued a neutral rating and a $56.00 price target on the airline’s stock.

A number of other research firms have also issued reports on LUV. Macquarie upgraded Southwest Airlines to an outperform rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 18th. ValuEngine upgraded Southwest Airlines from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Monday, September 17th. Imperial Capital restated an outperform rating and set a $66.00 target price (up from $60.00) on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research report on Thursday, September 27th. Zacks Investment Research cut Southwest Airlines from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, October 4th. Finally, Buckingham Research boosted their target price on Southwest Airlines from $69.00 to $73.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Friday, September 7th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and fifteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Southwest Airlines presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $65.10.

NYSE:LUV opened at $54.61 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.47, a quick ratio of 0.65 and a current ratio of 0.71. Southwest Airlines has a 52-week low of $47.10 and a 52-week high of $66.99. The firm has a market cap of $29.93 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.60, a P/E/G ratio of 1.16 and a beta of 1.22.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 25th. The airline reported $1.08 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.06 by $0.02. Southwest Airlines had a return on equity of 22.27% and a net margin of 17.18%. The company had revenue of $5.58 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.56 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.88 EPS. Research analysts forecast that Southwest Airlines will post 4.13 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 2nd. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, December 5th will be issued a $0.16 dividend. This represents a $0.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.17%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, December 4th. Southwest Airlines’s payout ratio is currently 18.29%.

In other news, Director John T. Montford sold 956 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.35, for a total value of $50,046.60. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. 0.23% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. ACG Wealth boosted its holdings in Southwest Airlines by 18.6% during the 3rd quarter. ACG Wealth now owns 45,188 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $2,822,000 after acquiring an additional 7,098 shares during the period. First Hawaiian Bank purchased a new stake in Southwest Airlines during the 3rd quarter valued at about $1,829,000. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in Southwest Airlines by 12.3% during the 3rd quarter. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC now owns 11,534 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $566,000 after acquiring an additional 1,265 shares during the period. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. boosted its holdings in Southwest Airlines by 3,172.6% during the 2nd quarter. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. now owns 22,843 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $1,162,000 after acquiring an additional 22,145 shares during the period. Finally, Wills Financial Group Inc. purchased a new stake in Southwest Airlines during the 2nd quarter valued at about $1,222,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 78.45% of the company’s stock.

About Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines Co operates a passenger airline that provides scheduled air transportation services in the United States and near-international markets. As of December 31, 2017, the company operated a total of 706 Boeing 737 aircraft; and served 100 destinations in 40 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, as well as 10 near-international countries, including Mexico, Jamaica, the Bahamas, Aruba, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Belize, Cuba, the Cayman Islands, and Turks and Caicos.

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