Southwest Airlines (LUV) Given a $68.00 Price Target by Morgan Stanley Analysts

Morgan Stanley set a $68.00 price objective on Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) in a report released on Friday morning. The brokerage currently has a buy rating on the airline’s stock.

A number of other equities analysts have also recently weighed in on the company. Deutsche Bank reduced their price target on Southwest Airlines from $71.00 to $66.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a report on Monday, June 11th. Edward Jones raised Southwest Airlines from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, June 12th. Buckingham Research reduced their price target on Southwest Airlines from $68.00 to $66.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, June 13th. Argus cut Southwest Airlines from a buy rating to a hold rating and reduced their price target for the stock from $66.99 to $49.76 in a report on Friday, June 15th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised Southwest Airlines from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Monday, July 2nd. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fifteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $69.53.

Shares of LUV stock opened at $61.05 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $35.79 billion, a PE ratio of 17.44, a P/E/G ratio of 1.24 and a beta of 1.06. The company has a quick ratio of 0.64, a current ratio of 0.70 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.48. Southwest Airlines has a 52-week low of $49.93 and a 52-week high of $66.99.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 26th. The airline reported $1.26 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.23 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $5.74 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.75 billion. Southwest Airlines had a return on equity of 22.16% and a net margin of 16.90%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up .2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.24 EPS. As a group, equities research analysts expect that Southwest Airlines will post 4.2 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, September 12th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, August 22nd were issued a dividend of $0.16 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, August 21st. This represents a $0.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.05%. Southwest Airlines’s payout ratio is currently 18.29%.

In related news, EVP Andrew M. Watterson sold 6,130 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $59.28, for a total value of $363,386.40. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 16,597 shares in the company, valued at $983,870.16. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director John T. Montford sold 430 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $58.27, for a total value of $25,056.10. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 23,853 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,389,914.31. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 11,470 shares of company stock valued at $674,941 in the last three months. Insiders own 0.23% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Norman Fields Gottscho Capital Management LLC grew its position in Southwest Airlines by 1.9% in the third quarter. Norman Fields Gottscho Capital Management LLC now owns 45,180 shares of the airline’s stock worth $2,821,000 after acquiring an additional 855 shares during the period. AE Wealth Management LLC lifted its stake in Southwest Airlines by 19.0% during the second quarter. AE Wealth Management LLC now owns 5,432 shares of the airline’s stock worth $276,000 after purchasing an additional 869 shares in the last quarter. Lucia Wealth Services LLC lifted its stake in Southwest Airlines by 22.7% during the second quarter. Lucia Wealth Services LLC now owns 4,854 shares of the airline’s stock worth $247,000 after purchasing an additional 898 shares in the last quarter. CIBC Asset Management Inc lifted its stake in Southwest Airlines by 0.4% during the second quarter. CIBC Asset Management Inc now owns 228,478 shares of the airline’s stock worth $11,625,000 after purchasing an additional 956 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Telos Capital Management Inc. lifted its stake in Southwest Airlines by 2.9% during the second quarter. Telos Capital Management Inc. now owns 34,775 shares of the airline’s stock worth $1,769,000 after purchasing an additional 972 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 77.99% 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, 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.

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Analyst Recommendations for Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV)

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