Southwest Airlines Co (LUV) Expected to Announce Earnings of $1.05 Per Share

Equities research analysts predict that Southwest Airlines Co (NYSE:LUV) will announce earnings of $1.05 per share for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks reports. Eleven analysts have made estimates for Southwest Airlines’ earnings. The lowest EPS estimate is $0.98 and the highest is $1.12. Southwest Airlines posted earnings of $0.77 per share during the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year over year growth rate of 36.4%. The business is scheduled to announce its next quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 24th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Southwest Airlines will report full-year earnings of $4.13 per share for the current fiscal year, with EPS estimates ranging from $4.06 to $4.20. For the next year, analysts forecast that the company will report earnings of $4.75 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $4.35 to $5.74. Zacks’ EPS averages are a mean average based on a survey of analysts that that provide coverage for Southwest Airlines.

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

Several equities analysts recently weighed in on the stock. Goldman Sachs Group assumed coverage on shares of Southwest Airlines in a report on Monday, November 12th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $61.00 price target on the stock. Imperial Capital cut their price target on shares of Southwest Airlines from $66.00 to $56.00 and set an “in-line” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, October 26th. Wolfe Research upgraded shares of Southwest Airlines from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, December 7th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, September 17th. Finally, Morgan Stanley dropped their price objective on shares of Southwest Airlines from $68.00 to $64.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, November 14th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and fifteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $64.85.

Shares of NYSE:LUV opened at $47.86 on Wednesday. Southwest Airlines has a twelve month low of $44.28 and a twelve month high of $66.52. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.47, a quick ratio of 0.65 and a current ratio of 0.71. The company has a market capitalization of $26.91 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.67, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.90 and a beta of 1.31.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, January 2nd. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, December 5th were paid a dividend of $0.16 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, December 4th. This represents a $0.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.34%. Southwest Airlines’s payout ratio is 18.29%.

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

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. lifted its holdings in Southwest Airlines by 2.1% in the 2nd quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 217,644 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $11,074,000 after purchasing an additional 4,457 shares in the last quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. lifted its holdings in Southwest Airlines by 5.5% in the 2nd quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 68,870 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $3,504,000 after purchasing an additional 3,593 shares in the last quarter. Employees Retirement System of Texas lifted its holdings in Southwest Airlines by 7.1% in the 2nd quarter. Employees Retirement System of Texas now owns 60,700 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $3,088,000 after purchasing an additional 4,000 shares in the last quarter. ING Groep NV lifted its holdings in Southwest Airlines by 416.7% in the 2nd quarter. ING Groep NV now owns 27,217 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $1,385,000 after purchasing an additional 21,950 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board lifted its holdings in Southwest Airlines by 4.2% in the 2nd quarter. Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board now owns 43,238 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $2,200,000 after purchasing an additional 1,752 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 79.43% 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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