Southwest Airlines (LUV) Cut to “Neutral” at Bank of America

Bank of America cut shares of Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a research report report published on Tuesday morning, MarketBeat reports. They currently have $73.00 price objective on the airline’s stock.

A number of other research analysts have also weighed in on the company. ValuEngine lowered Southwest Airlines from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Vetr upgraded Southwest Airlines from a sell rating to a hold rating and set a $65.81 price target for the company in a research report on Monday, January 1st. Atlantic Securities upgraded Southwest Airlines from a neutral rating to an overweight rating and lifted their price target for the company from $48.71 to $71.00 in a research report on Thursday, December 14th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Southwest Airlines from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, November 9th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted their price target on Southwest Airlines from $66.00 to $67.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 1st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the company. Southwest Airlines presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $67.93.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE LUV) traded up $0.52 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $65.36. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 3,810,000 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,980,000. The company has a quick ratio of 0.55, a current ratio of 0.61 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.46. The stock has a market cap of $38,780.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.73, a PEG ratio of 1.37 and a beta of 1.35. Southwest Airlines has a 1-year low of $48.71 and a 1-year high of $66.99.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The airline reported $0.88 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $5.27 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.29 billion. Southwest Airlines had a return on equity of 24.85% and a net margin of 10.12%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 2.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.93 EPS. sell-side analysts expect that Southwest Airlines will post 3.52 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, January 4th. Investors of record on Thursday, December 7th were given a $0.125 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, December 6th. This represents a $0.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.76%. Southwest Airlines’s payout ratio is 14.33%.

In related news, EVP Robert E. Jordan sold 32,931 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, December 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $64.38, for a total value of $2,120,097.78. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 76,993 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,956,809.34. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director John T. Montford sold 1,695 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, December 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $63.27, for a total value of $107,242.65. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 23,098 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,461,410.46. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 35,593 shares of company stock valued at $2,279,660 in the last 90 days. 0.21% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in LUV. Boston Partners lifted its position in Southwest Airlines by 101.7% in the third quarter. Boston Partners now owns 4,980,739 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $278,822,000 after purchasing an additional 2,511,258 shares during the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC lifted its position in Southwest Airlines by 171.7% in the third quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 1,821,985 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $101,994,000 after purchasing an additional 1,151,371 shares during the last quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans lifted its position in Southwest Airlines by 35.6% in the second quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans now owns 4,150,288 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $257,901,000 after purchasing an additional 1,090,189 shares during the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. lifted its position in Southwest Airlines by 13.1% in the second quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 8,836,067 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $549,016,000 after purchasing an additional 1,026,892 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Russell Investments Group Ltd. lifted its position in Southwest Airlines by 104.3% in the third quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 1,754,760 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $98,219,000 after purchasing an additional 895,770 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 78.55% of the company’s stock.

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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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