Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) Upgraded to “Outperform” by Wolfe Research

Wolfe Research upgraded shares of Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) from a peer perform rating to an outperform rating in a research report sent to investors on Friday morning, 24/7 WallStreet reports. Wolfe Research currently has $57.00 price objective on the airline’s stock.

Other equities research analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. Imperial Capital reaffirmed an in-line rating and set a $55.00 price target (up previously from $52.00) on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research note on Friday, April 26th. Cowen reaffirmed a market perform rating and set a $57.00 price target (up previously from $55.00) on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research note on Friday, July 26th. Barclays dropped their price target on shares of Southwest Airlines from $65.00 to $60.00 and set an equal weight rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, April 26th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Southwest Airlines from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Thursday, May 16th. Finally, Morgan Stanley dropped their price target on shares of Southwest Airlines from $64.00 to $59.00 and set an overweight rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $57.15.

Shares of LUV stock traded up $1.58 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $49.79. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 2,836,600 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,999,713. The company’s 50 day simple moving average is $51.63 and its 200-day simple moving average is $52.41. Southwest Airlines has a 12-month low of $44.28 and a 12-month high of $64.02. The company has a quick ratio of 0.59, a current ratio of 0.64 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.37. The firm has a market capitalization of $26.21 billion, a PE ratio of 11.74, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.05 and a beta of 1.50.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, July 25th. The airline reported $1.37 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.35 by $0.02. Southwest Airlines had a net margin of 10.73% and a return on equity of 24.12%. The business had revenue of $5.91 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.94 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.26 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.9% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, research analysts anticipate that Southwest Airlines will post 4.29 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, September 11th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, August 21st will be paid a dividend of $0.18 per share. This represents a $0.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.45%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, August 20th. Southwest Airlines’s payout ratio is 16.98%.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Grimes & Company Inc. raised its position in shares of Southwest Airlines by 9.2% during the 2nd quarter. Grimes & Company Inc. now owns 142,611 shares of the airline’s stock worth $7,242,000 after buying an additional 12,068 shares in the last quarter. Curbstone Financial Management Corp raised its position in shares of Southwest Airlines by 4.4% during the 2nd quarter. Curbstone Financial Management Corp now owns 16,350 shares of the airline’s stock worth $830,000 after buying an additional 690 shares in the last quarter. Enterprise Financial Services Corp raised its position in shares of Southwest Airlines by 1,620.1% during the 1st quarter. Enterprise Financial Services Corp now owns 6,846 shares of the airline’s stock worth $355,000 after buying an additional 6,448 shares in the last quarter. Strs Ohio raised its position in shares of Southwest Airlines by 1.2% during the 1st quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 331,693 shares of the airline’s stock worth $17,218,000 after buying an additional 4,019 shares in the last quarter. Finally, AMG National Trust Bank bought a new stake in shares of Southwest Airlines during the 2nd quarter worth about $1,701,000. 84.25% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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, 2018, the company operated a total of 750 Boeing 737 aircraft; and served 99 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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