Boston Partners Invests $153.45 Million in Southwest Airlines Company (LUV)

Boston Partners bought a new position in shares of Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV) during the second quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The firm bought 2,469,481 shares of the airline’s stock, valued at approximately $153,454,000. Boston Partners owned 0.41% of Southwest Airlines at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. DnB Asset Management AS purchased a new position in Southwest Airlines during the first quarter worth about $697,000. MARSHALL WACE ASIA Ltd purchased a new position in Southwest Airlines during the first quarter worth about $22,797,000. Wedbush Securities Inc. raised its position in Southwest Airlines by 21.3% in the first quarter. Wedbush Securities Inc. now owns 13,146 shares of the airline’s stock worth $707,000 after buying an additional 2,311 shares during the last quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC raised its position in Southwest Airlines by 2.5% in the first quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC now owns 21,857 shares of the airline’s stock worth $1,271,000 after buying an additional 524 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Moody National Bank Trust Division purchased a new position in Southwest Airlines during the first quarter worth about $466,000. 80.34% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Southwest Airlines Company (LUV) opened at 54.14 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $32.41 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.60 and a beta of 1.26. Southwest Airlines Company has a 12-month low of $36.05 and a 12-month high of $64.39. The company has a 50 day moving average of $59.56 and a 200-day moving average of $57.18.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last issued its earnings results 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 company had revenue of $5.74 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.73 billion. Southwest Airlines had a net margin of 9.63% and a return on equity of 26.07%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.19 EPS. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Southwest Airlines Company will post $3.80 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 14th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, August 24th will be paid a $0.125 dividend. This represents a $0.50 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.92%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, August 22nd. Southwest Airlines’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 15.34%.

Southwest Airlines declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Wednesday, May 17th that allows the company to repurchase $2.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the airline to buy up to 5.8% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are often a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

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A number of research analysts have issued reports on LUV shares. Cowen and Company reissued a “buy” rating and set a $67.00 target price on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research note on Friday, July 28th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Sunday, July 30th. Morgan Stanley reissued an “overweight” rating and set a $66.00 target price (up from $65.00) on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research note on Monday, July 10th. Deutsche Bank AG boosted their target price on shares of Southwest Airlines from $63.00 to $65.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, April 28th. Finally, Imperial Capital boosted their target price on shares of Southwest Airlines from $63.00 to $68.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, April 28th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating, eleven have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $65.78.

In other news, Chairman Gary C. Kelly sold 51,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $57.06, for a total value of $2,910,060.00. Following the transaction, the chairman now owns 556,808 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $31,771,464.48. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, COO De Ven Michael G. Van sold 15,273 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $57.14, for a total transaction of $872,699.22. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 182,302 shares in the company, valued at approximately $10,416,736.28. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 118,740 shares of company stock worth $6,923,568 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.21% of the company’s stock.

About Southwest Airlines

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.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV)

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