The Sanford C. Bernstein Begins Coverage on Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV)

The Sanford C. Bernstein Begins Coverage on Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV)

Sanford C. Bernstein initiated coverage on shares of Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV) in a research note published on Monday morning. The firm issued an outperform rating and a $51.00 price target on the airline’s stock. The analysts noted that the move was a valuation call.

Other equities analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Evercore ISI raised shares of Southwest Airlines from a hold rating to a buy rating and decreased their target price for the company from $47.00 to $37.36 in a research note on Tuesday, July 26th. Cowen and Company reissued a buy rating on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research note on Sunday, June 26th. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a buy rating and issued a $57.00 target price on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research note on Saturday, June 25th. Vetr raised shares of Southwest Airlines from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $38.00 target price for the company in a research note on Tuesday, August 2nd. Finally, Credit Suisse Group AG set a $48.00 target price on shares of Southwest Airlines and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Monday, September 12th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating, eleven have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $48.36.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) opened at 40.01 on Monday. Southwest Airlines has a 52 week low of $33.96 and a 52 week high of $51.34. The firm has a market cap of $24.82 billion, a PE ratio of 10.61 and a beta of 0.80. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $37.76 and a 200-day moving average of $40.47.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 21st. The airline reported $1.19 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.21 by $0.02. Southwest Airlines had a net margin of 11.95% and a return on equity of 34.25%. The business earned $5.38 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.41 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.03 earnings per share. Southwest Airlines’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.3% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts expect that Southwest Airlines will post $3.78 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, Director William H. Dr Cunningham purchased 5,700 shares of Southwest Airlines stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 3rd. The shares were bought at an average cost of $35.80 per share, for a total transaction of $204,060.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 56,283 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,014,931.40. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, SVP Mark R. Shaw sold 1,776 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, July 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $37.62, for a total value of $66,813.12. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 5,226 shares in the company, valued at $196,602.12. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.18% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in LUV. Franklin Resources Inc. boosted its stake in Southwest Airlines by 38.9% in the first quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 72,037 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $3,227,000 after buying an additional 20,161 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted its stake in Southwest Airlines by 45.6% in the first quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 3,400,713 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $152,353,000 after buying an additional 1,065,198 shares during the period. Bessemer Group Inc. boosted its stake in Southwest Airlines by 1.7% in the first quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 91,663 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $4,107,000 after buying an additional 1,541 shares during the period. Monetary Management Group Inc. boosted its stake in Southwest Airlines by 1,948.3% in the first quarter. Monetary Management Group Inc. now owns 30,725 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $1,376,000 after buying an additional 29,225 shares during the period. Finally, Investec Asset Management North America Inc. boosted its stake in Southwest Airlines by 40.1% in the first quarter. Investec Asset Management North America Inc. now owns 23,474 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $1,052,000 after buying an additional 6,722 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 78.34% of the company’s stock.

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