Bank of America Corporation Increases Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV) Price Target to $75.00

Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV) had its price target lifted by investment analysts at Bank of America Corporation from $62.00 to $75.00 in a research note issued to investors on Friday, June 30th. The brokerage currently has a “buy” rating on the airline’s stock. Bank of America Corporation’s price objective points to a potential upside of 32.60% from the company’s current price.

Several other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on LUV. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $68.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Tuesday, June 6th. BidaskClub cut Southwest Airlines from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, June 9th. Vetr upgraded Southwest Airlines from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $62.02 target price for the company in a research note on Monday, May 29th. ValuEngine upgraded Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $80.00 price target on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research report on Friday, May 26th. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twelve have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $65.78.

Shares of Southwest Airlines (LUV) traded down 0.02% during trading on Friday, hitting $56.56. 5,798,715 shares of the stock were exchanged. Southwest Airlines has a 52-week low of $35.42 and a 52-week high of $64.39. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $60.95 and a 200-day moving average of $56.90. The stock has a market cap of $34.16 billion, a PE ratio of 17.33 and a beta of 1.29. Southwest Airlines also was the target of some unusual options trading on Thursday. Investors purchased 26,298 call options on the stock. This represents an increase of approximately 886% compared to the typical volume of 2,668 call options.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The airline reported $1.24 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.20 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $5.74 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.73 billion. Southwest Airlines had a return on equity of 26.07% and a net margin of 9.63%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 6.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.19 EPS. Equities research analysts anticipate that Southwest Airlines will post $3.89 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Southwest Airlines announced that its board has initiated a share repurchase plan on Wednesday, May 17th that authorizes the company to repurchase $2.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the airline to buy up to 5.8% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

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In related news, EVP Jeff Lamb sold 19,800 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.00, for a total value of $1,207,800.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 92,468 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,640,548. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CFO Tammy Romo sold 8,322 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $59.15, for a total value of $492,246.30. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 87,387 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,168,941.05. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 118,740 shares of company stock valued at $6,923,568. Insiders own 0.18% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America boosted its position in shares of Southwest Airlines by 0.6% in the first quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America now owns 2,374 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $128,000 after buying an additional 15 shares during the period. Van ECK Associates Corp boosted its position in shares of Southwest Airlines by 6.6% in the first quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 2,502 shares of the airline’s stock worth $135,000 after buying an additional 154 shares during the last quarter. National Pension Service bought a new position in shares of Southwest Airlines during the second quarter worth about $141,000. Independent Advisor Alliance bought a new position in shares of Southwest Airlines during the fourth quarter worth about $143,000. Finally, TrimTabs Asset Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Southwest Airlines by 88.9% in the first quarter. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC now owns 2,821 shares of the airline’s stock worth $152,000 after buying an additional 1,328 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 79.69% of the company’s stock.

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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