Todays Report: Today, Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV) Stake Boosted by Highland Capital Management LLC

Today, Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV) Stake Boosted by Highland Capital Management LLC

Highland Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV) by 301.4% during the third quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 58,925 shares of the airline’s stock after buying an additional 44,246 shares during the period. Highland Capital Management LLC’s holdings in Southwest Airlines were worth $2,292,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Capstone Asset Management Co. raised its position in Southwest Airlines by 1.8% in the third quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. now owns 63,504 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $2,470,000 after buying an additional 1,140 shares during the period. Eagle Asset Management Inc. raised its position in Southwest Airlines by 10.6% in the third quarter. Eagle Asset Management Inc. now owns 457,085 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $17,776,000 after buying an additional 43,949 shares during the period. Bristlecone Advisors LLC raised its position in Southwest Airlines by 1.2% in the third quarter. Bristlecone Advisors LLC now owns 43,415 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $1,688,000 after buying an additional 525 shares during the period. British Columbia Investment Management Corp raised its position in Southwest Airlines by 6.5% in the third quarter. British Columbia Investment Management Corp now owns 122,881 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $4,779,000 after buying an additional 7,461 shares during the period. Finally, Cobiz Investment Management LLC raised its position in Southwest Airlines by 2.0% in the third quarter. Cobiz Investment Management LLC now owns 6,497 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $253,000 after buying an additional 125 shares during the period. 75.66% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV) traded up 0.15% on Monday, reaching $47.52. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 4,230,928 shares. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $42.69 and a 200 day moving average of $40.03. The stock has a market capitalization of $29.25 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.51 and a beta of 0.86. Southwest Airlines Co. has a 52 week low of $33.96 and a 52 week high of $51.34.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, October 26th. The airline reported $0.93 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.88 by $0.05. Southwest Airlines had a return on equity of 32.51% and a net margin of 11.09%. The firm earned $5.10 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.17 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.94 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 3.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts expect that Southwest Airlines Co. will post $3.66 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, January 5th. Investors of record on Thursday, December 8th will be paid a dividend of $0.10 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, December 6th. This represents a $0.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.84%. Southwest Airlines’s payout ratio is 11.40%.

Several research firms recently commented on LUV. Vetr raised Southwest Airlines from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $46.22 price target on the stock in a research report on Thursday. Zacks Investment Research raised Southwest Airlines from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 22nd. Imperial Capital lifted their price objective on Southwest Airlines from $46.00 to $57.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Tuesday, November 22nd. Citigroup Inc. started coverage on Southwest Airlines in a report on Friday, November 18th. They set a “buy” rating and a $57.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded Southwest Airlines from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $51.50 price objective on the stock in a report on Thursday, October 27th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the stock. Southwest Airlines currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $50.70.

About Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines Co (Southwest) operates Southwest Airlines. Southwest is a passenger airline that provides scheduled air transportation in the United States and near-international markets. The Company serves approximately 100 destinations in over 40 states, such as the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and approximately seven near-international countries, including Mexico, Jamaica, The Bahamas, Aruba, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, and Belize.

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