Renaissance Group LLC cut its position in shares of Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV) by 4.1% during the second quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 639,974 shares of the airline’s stock after selling 27,020 shares during the period. Southwest Airlines accounts for approximately 1.5% of Renaissance Group LLC’s investment portfolio, making the stock its largest position. Renaissance Group LLC owned 0.11% of Southwest Airlines worth $39,768,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other large investors have also modified their holdings of the stock. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America increased its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 0.6% in the first quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America now owns 2,374 shares of the airline’s stock worth $128,000 after buying an additional 15 shares in the last quarter. Buckingham Asset Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 0.3% in the first quarter. Buckingham Asset Management LLC now owns 5,690 shares of the airline’s stock worth $306,000 after buying an additional 16 shares in the last quarter. Bank of Hawaii increased its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 0.3% in the first quarter. Bank of Hawaii now owns 12,867 shares of the airline’s stock worth $692,000 after buying an additional 35 shares in the last quarter. First Heartland Consultants Inc. increased its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 0.3% in the first quarter. First Heartland Consultants Inc. now owns 16,293 shares of the airline’s stock worth $876,000 after buying an additional 43 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Harwood Advisory Group LLC increased its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 0.9% in the second quarter. Harwood Advisory Group LLC now owns 5,607 shares of the airline’s stock worth $348,000 after buying an additional 51 shares in the last quarter. 79.41% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Southwest Airlines Company (LUV) opened at 52.68 on Monday. The company has a market capitalization of $31.53 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.15 and a beta of 1.26. Southwest Airlines Company has a 12 month low of $36.05 and a 12 month high of $64.39. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $57.18 and its 200 day moving average price is $57.26.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The airline reported $1.24 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.20 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $5.74 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.73 billion. Southwest Airlines had a net margin of 9.63% and a return on equity of 26.07%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 6.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.19 EPS. Analysts forecast that Southwest Airlines Company will post $3.80 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Southwest Airlines announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase program on Wednesday, May 17th that allows the company to repurchase $2.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the airline to buy up to 5.8% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are often a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 14th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, August 24th will be given a $0.125 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, August 22nd. This represents a $0.50 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.95%. Southwest Airlines’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 15.34%.

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Several research firms recently weighed in on LUV. Zacks Investment Research raised Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $67.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Tuesday, June 13th. BidaskClub downgraded Southwest Airlines from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, June 9th. Vetr raised Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $63.80 price objective on the stock in a report on Monday, June 5th. Argus raised Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price objective for the company from $61.76 to $68.00 in a report on Thursday, June 22nd. Finally, Wolfe Research raised Southwest Airlines from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, August 18th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating, twelve have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Southwest Airlines currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $65.66.

In other Southwest Airlines news, Director William H. Dr Cunningham purchased 4,500 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 11th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $54.00 per share, with a total value of $243,000.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 66,969 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,616,326. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 0.21% of the stock is owned by insiders.

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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV)

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