Southwest Airlines (LUV) Coverage Initiated at Vertical Research

Vertical Research assumed coverage on shares of Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) in a research note issued to investors on Monday, February 4th, MarketBeat Ratings reports. The firm set a “buy” rating on the airline’s stock.

A number of other brokerages have also recently issued reports on LUV. Macquarie set a $67.00 price objective on shares of Southwest Airlines and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, October 8th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Southwest Airlines from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 11th. Imperial Capital restated an “in-line” rating and issued a $62.00 price objective (up previously from $56.00) on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research note on Tuesday, December 4th. Cowen reaffirmed a “market perform” rating and issued a $58.00 target price (up previously from $54.00) on shares of Southwest Airlines in a report on Friday, January 25th. Finally, Wolfe Research raised shares of Southwest Airlines from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, December 7th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the company. Southwest Airlines presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $61.76.

Shares of NYSE LUV traded down $1.70 during trading hours on Monday, hitting $54.34. 9,040,914 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 4,897,754. The company has a market cap of $29.64 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.82, a P/E/G ratio of 0.83 and a beta of 1.54. Southwest Airlines has a one year low of $44.28 and a one year high of $64.02. The company has a current ratio of 0.64, a quick ratio of 0.58 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.45.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last released its earnings results on Thursday, January 24th. The airline reported $1.17 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.06 by $0.11. The firm had revenue of $5.70 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.68 billion. Southwest Airlines had a net margin of 11.22% and a return on equity of 24.56%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 8.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.77 EPS. Equities research analysts forecast that Southwest Airlines will post 5.08 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director John T. Montford sold 980 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated 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 sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 0.23% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in LUV. Ackerman Capital Advisors LLC raised its holdings in Southwest Airlines by 4,145.5% during the 4th quarter. Ackerman Capital Advisors LLC now owns 424,554 shares of the airline’s stock worth $9,290,000 after buying an additional 414,554 shares during the period. Reilly Financial Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Southwest Airlines during the 4th quarter worth approximately $5,482,000. ACG Wealth raised its holdings in Southwest Airlines by 18.6% during the 3rd quarter. ACG Wealth now owns 45,188 shares of the airline’s stock worth $2,822,000 after buying an additional 7,098 shares during the period. First Hawaiian Bank acquired a new stake in Southwest Airlines during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $1,829,000. Finally, Valeo Financial Advisors LLC raised its holdings in shares of Southwest Airlines by 12.3% in the third quarter. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC now owns 11,534 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $566,000 after purchasing an additional 1,265 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 80.88% 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.

Further Reading: Stock Split

Analyst Recommendations for Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV)

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