Southwest Airlines Company (LUV) Receives Buy Rating from Citigroup Inc.

Citigroup Inc. reiterated their buy rating on shares of Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV) in a research report released on Thursday. The brokerage currently has a $64.00 price target on the airline’s stock, down from their previous price target of $65.00.

A number of other equities research analysts also recently commented on the stock. Cowen and Company reiterated a buy rating and set a $67.00 price target on shares of Southwest Airlines in a report on Friday, September 1st. Wolfe Research upgraded shares of Southwest Airlines from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a report on Friday, August 18th. Morgan Stanley set a $64.00 price target on shares of Southwest Airlines and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Thursday, August 17th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Southwest Airlines from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, August 1st. Finally, BidaskClub downgraded shares of Southwest Airlines from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Sunday, July 30th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating, twelve have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $66.10.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE LUV) opened at 52.87 on Thursday. Southwest Airlines has a 12-month low of $36.31 and a 12-month high of $64.39. The firm has a market capitalization of $31.65 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.21 and a beta of 1.29. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $54.42 and a 200 day moving average of $57.04.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The airline reported $1.24 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.20 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $5.74 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.73 billion. Southwest Airlines had a net margin of 9.63% and a return on equity of 26.07%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 6.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.19 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts predict that Southwest Airlines will post $3.76 EPS for the current year.

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Southwest Airlines declared that its board has approved a share repurchase program on Wednesday, May 17th that permits the company to buyback $2.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the airline to repurchase up to 5.8% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are usually an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 14th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, August 24th will be given a dividend of $0.125 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, August 22nd. This represents a $0.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.95%. Southwest Airlines’s payout ratio is currently 15.34%.

In other news, Director William H. Dr Cunningham bought 4,500 shares of Southwest Airlines stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 11th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $54.00 per share, with a total value of $243,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 66,969 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,616,326. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Insiders own 0.21% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Company LTD raised its holdings in Southwest Airlines by 1.1% in the first quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Company LTD now owns 15,748 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $846,000 after acquiring an additional 171 shares in the last quarter. BB&T Corp raised its holdings in Southwest Airlines by 13.5% in the first quarter. BB&T Corp now owns 6,218 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $334,000 after acquiring an additional 739 shares in the last quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co. Ltd. raised its holdings in Southwest Airlines by 10.1% in the first quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 30,710 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $1,651,000 after acquiring an additional 2,808 shares in the last quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can raised its holdings in Southwest Airlines by 11.0% in the first quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 211,051 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $11,339,000 after acquiring an additional 20,963 shares in the last quarter. Finally, APG Asset Management N.V. raised its holdings in Southwest Airlines by 10.1% in the first quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 4,037,493 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $217,056,000 after acquiring an additional 370,954 shares in the last quarter. 79.42% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV)

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