Southwest Airlines Co (LUV) to Post Q1 2019 Earnings of $0.78 Per Share, Imperial Capital Forecasts

Southwest Airlines Co (NYSE:LUV) – Stock analysts at Imperial Capital dropped their Q1 2019 earnings per share (EPS) estimates for Southwest Airlines in a research report issued on Wednesday, January 9th. Imperial Capital analyst M. Derchin now expects that the airline will post earnings of $0.78 per share for the quarter, down from their previous estimate of $0.79. Imperial Capital currently has a “In-Line” rating and a $52.00 target price on the stock. Imperial Capital also issued estimates for Southwest Airlines’ Q3 2019 earnings at $1.18 EPS, Q4 2019 earnings at $1.10 EPS, FY2019 earnings at $4.70 EPS and FY2020 earnings at $5.20 EPS.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 25th. The airline reported $1.08 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.06 by $0.02. Southwest Airlines had a return on equity of 22.27% and a net margin of 17.18%. The firm had revenue of $5.58 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.56 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.88 earnings per share.

Several other research analysts also recently commented on the company. Buckingham Research decreased their price objective on Southwest Airlines from $73.00 to $65.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, October 26th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded Southwest Airlines from a “neutral” rating to an “underweight” rating and decreased their price objective for the stock from $63.00 to $52.00 in a research note on Tuesday, October 30th. Macquarie raised Southwest Airlines to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 18th. Morgan Stanley set a $68.00 price objective on Southwest Airlines and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, October 5th. Finally, Raymond James decreased their price objective on Southwest Airlines from $68.00 to $60.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, October 26th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and fourteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. Southwest Airlines presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $61.56.

NYSE LUV opened at $48.52 on Thursday. 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 $44.28 and a 52 week high of $66.52. The stock has a market capitalization of $27.60 billion, a PE ratio of 13.86, a P/E/G ratio of 0.92 and a beta of 1.31.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, January 2nd. Investors of record on Wednesday, December 5th were paid a dividend of $0.16 per share. This represents a $0.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.32%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, December 4th. Southwest Airlines’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 18.29%.

In other Southwest Airlines news, Director John T. Montford sold 956 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.35, for a total transaction of $50,046.60. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Director John T. Montford sold 980 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, December 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.27, for a total value of $50,244.60. Following the transaction, the director now owns 20,983 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,075,798.41. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.23% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Primecap Management Co. CA grew its holdings in Southwest Airlines by 0.3% during the 3rd quarter. Primecap Management Co. CA now owns 73,955,888 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $4,618,545,000 after buying an additional 241,557 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC grew its holdings in Southwest Airlines by 11.8% during the 3rd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 12,725,686 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $794,719,000 after buying an additional 1,343,228 shares in the last quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in Southwest Airlines by 1.4% during the 3rd quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 5,195,142 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $324,436,000 after buying an additional 71,503 shares in the last quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Southwest Airlines by 110.8% in the 3rd quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 3,496,061 shares of the airline’s stock worth $218,329,000 after purchasing an additional 1,837,517 shares during the period. Finally, Morgan Stanley boosted its holdings in shares of Southwest Airlines by 37.8% in the 2nd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 3,167,424 shares of the airline’s stock worth $161,158,000 after purchasing an additional 868,643 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 79.43% of the company’s stock.

Southwest Airlines Company Profile

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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