Epoch Investment Partners Inc. cut its stake in Southwest Airlines Co (NYSE:LUV) by 0.9% in the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 153,253 shares of the airline’s stock after selling 1,397 shares during the period. Epoch Investment Partners Inc.’s holdings in Southwest Airlines were worth $7,124,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. Cerity Partners LLC increased its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 4.6% during the 4th quarter. Cerity Partners LLC now owns 5,179 shares of the airline’s stock worth $241,000 after purchasing an additional 228 shares in the last quarter. Dorsey & Whitney Trust CO LLC increased its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 4.3% during the 4th quarter. Dorsey & Whitney Trust CO LLC now owns 5,590 shares of the airline’s stock worth $259,000 after purchasing an additional 231 shares in the last quarter. Fulton Bank N.A. increased its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 0.8% during the 4th quarter. Fulton Bank N.A. now owns 29,372 shares of the airline’s stock worth $1,366,000 after purchasing an additional 237 shares in the last quarter. Cornerstone Advisors Inc. increased its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 6.8% during the 3rd quarter. Cornerstone Advisors Inc. now owns 4,572 shares of the airline’s stock worth $286,000 after purchasing an additional 292 shares in the last quarter. Finally, ETF Managers Group LLC increased its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 15.7% during the 4th quarter. ETF Managers Group LLC now owns 2,274 shares of the airline’s stock worth $106,000 after purchasing an additional 309 shares in the last quarter. 79.84% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
A number of research analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Southwest Airlines from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday. Macquarie set a $65.00 price objective on shares of Southwest Airlines and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 29th. Wolfe Research cut shares of Southwest Airlines from an “outperform” rating to a “peer perform” rating in a research note on Friday, March 8th. Imperial Capital reissued an “in-line” rating and set a $52.00 price objective (down from $57.00) on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research note on Wednesday, January 9th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group cut shares of Southwest Airlines from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating and dropped their price objective for the stock from $66.00 to $54.00 in a research note on Wednesday, February 20th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Southwest Airlines presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $61.76.
Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last released its earnings results on Thursday, January 24th. The airline reported $1.17 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.06 by $0.11. The firm had revenue of $5.70 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.68 billion. Southwest Airlines had a net margin of 11.22% and a return on equity of 24.56%. Southwest Airlines’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.77 EPS. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Southwest Airlines Co will post 5.12 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, March 27th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, March 6th will be paid a $0.16 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, March 5th. This represents a $0.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.25%. Southwest Airlines’s payout ratio is currently 15.09%.
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Southwest Airlines Company Profile
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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