Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) Raised to Outperform at Macquarie

Macquarie upgraded shares of Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) from a neutral rating to an outperform rating in a research report sent to investors on Friday, Briefing.com Automated Import reports. Macquarie currently has $67.00 price target on the airline’s stock.

Several other equities research analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. Morgan Stanley lowered their target price on shares of Southwest Airlines from $64.00 to $59.00 and set an overweight rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, August 14th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Southwest Airlines from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Thursday, May 16th. Wolfe Research upgraded shares of Southwest Airlines from a peer perform rating to an outperform rating and set a $57.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Friday, August 16th. Argus downgraded shares of Southwest Airlines from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 13th. Finally, Berenberg Bank assumed coverage on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research note on Friday, September 6th. They set a hold rating and a $57.00 price objective for the company. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $57.22.

Shares of LUV opened at $55.81 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $29.91 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.16, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.33 and a beta of 1.45. Southwest Airlines has a twelve month low of $44.28 and a twelve 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 company has a 50 day moving average of $51.51 and a two-hundred day moving average of $51.79.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, July 25th. The airline reported $1.37 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.35 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $5.91 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.94 billion. Southwest Airlines had a net margin of 10.73% and a return on equity of 24.12%. Southwest Airlines’s revenue was up 2.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.26 earnings per share. On average, sell-side analysts expect that Southwest Airlines will post 4.27 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, September 11th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, August 21st were paid a dividend of $0.18 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, August 20th. This represents a $0.72 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.29%. Southwest Airlines’s payout ratio is currently 16.98%.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Rehmann Capital Advisory Group lifted its position in Southwest Airlines by 5.5% during the second quarter. Rehmann Capital Advisory Group now owns 18,048 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $917,000 after purchasing an additional 935 shares during the period. EP Wealth Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Southwest Airlines during the second quarter valued at $2,635,000. Mackenzie Financial Corp lifted its position in Southwest Airlines by 1.8% during the second quarter. Mackenzie Financial Corp now owns 110,323 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $5,602,000 after purchasing an additional 1,968 shares during the period. Global Wealth Management Investment Advisory Inc. lifted its position in Southwest Airlines by 242.8% during the second quarter. Global Wealth Management Investment Advisory Inc. now owns 713 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $36,000 after purchasing an additional 505 shares during the period. Finally, Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC lifted its position in Southwest Airlines by 6.9% during the second quarter. Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC now owns 1,125,658 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $57,161,000 after purchasing an additional 72,253 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 82.02% 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, 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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