Shares of Southwest Airlines Co (NYSE:LUV) have been given an average rating of “Buy” by the twenty-two brokerages that are covering the stock, Marketbeat reports. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and sixteen have issued a buy rating on the company. The average twelve-month price objective among brokerages that have covered the stock in the last year is $69.00.

LUV has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. Imperial Capital raised their price target on shares of Southwest Airlines from $54.00 to $60.00 and gave the stock an “inline” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 22nd. Edward Jones upgraded shares of Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, June 12th. Stephens set a $69.00 price target on shares of Southwest Airlines and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, July 27th. Macquarie set a $71.00 price target on shares of Southwest Airlines and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Monday. Finally, Deutsche Bank cut their price target on shares of Southwest Airlines from $71.00 to $66.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Monday, June 11th.

In related news, EVP Andrew M. Watterson sold 6,130 shares of Southwest Airlines stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $59.28, for a total value of $363,386.40. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 16,597 shares in the company, valued at approximately $983,870.16. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director John T. Montford sold 430 shares of Southwest Airlines stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $58.27, for a total transaction of $25,056.10. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 23,853 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,389,914.31. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 11,470 shares of company stock valued at $674,941 in the last quarter. 0.23% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of LUV. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Southwest Airlines in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $101,000. Private Capital Group LLC boosted its position in Southwest Airlines by 819.2% in the 1st quarter. Private Capital Group LLC now owns 1,866 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $107,000 after buying an additional 1,663 shares during the period. Clarus Wealth Advisors purchased a new position in Southwest Airlines in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $107,000. Point72 Hong Kong Ltd purchased a new position in Southwest Airlines in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $108,000. Finally, CWM LLC purchased a new position in Southwest Airlines in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $109,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 77.97% of the company’s stock.

LUV opened at $63.10 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.48, a quick ratio of 0.64 and a current ratio of 0.70. Southwest Airlines has a 1-year low of $49.93 and a 1-year high of $66.99. The company has a market capitalization of $35.77 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.06, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.24 and a beta of 1.10.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last released its earnings results on Thursday, July 26th. The airline reported $1.26 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.23 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $5.74 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.75 billion. Southwest Airlines had a net margin of 16.90% and a return on equity of 22.16%. The business’s revenue was up .2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.24 EPS. sell-side analysts forecast that Southwest Airlines will post 4.19 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, September 12th. Investors of record on Wednesday, August 22nd were issued a $0.16 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, August 21st. This represents a $0.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.01%. Southwest Airlines’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 18.29%.

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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Analyst Recommendations for Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV)

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