Southwest Airlines (LUV) Cut to “Neutral” at Bank of America

Bank of America downgraded shares of Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a research report released on Tuesday morning, Marketbeat reports. They currently have $73.00 target price on the airline’s stock.

LUV has been the topic of several other reports. Deutsche Bank reissued a buy rating and set a $71.00 target price on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Vetr cut Southwest Airlines from a sell rating to a strong sell rating and set a $54.06 target price on the stock. in a research note on Tuesday, December 5th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted their target price on Southwest Airlines from $66.00 to $67.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 1st. Morgan Stanley reissued an overweight rating on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research note on Tuesday, September 12th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research cut Southwest Airlines from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Monday, October 30th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $67.93.

Southwest Airlines (LUV) traded up $0.52 on Tuesday, hitting $65.36. The stock had a trading volume of 3,810,000 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,980,000. The company has a quick ratio of 0.55, a current ratio of 0.61 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.46. Southwest Airlines has a 52-week low of $48.71 and a 52-week high of $66.99. The stock has a market capitalization of $38,780.00, a PE ratio of 18.73, a PEG ratio of 1.37 and a beta of 1.35.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The airline reported $0.88 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.01. Southwest Airlines had a return on equity of 24.85% and a net margin of 10.12%. The firm had revenue of $5.27 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.29 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.93 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 2.6% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts forecast that Southwest Airlines will post 3.52 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, January 4th. Investors of record on Thursday, December 7th were paid a $0.125 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, December 6th. This represents a $0.50 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.76%. Southwest Airlines’s payout ratio is 14.33%.

In other news, Director John T. Montford sold 935 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.94, for a total value of $50,433.90. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 25,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,348,500. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director John T. Montford sold 1,695 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $63.27, for a total value of $107,242.65. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 23,098 shares in the company, valued at $1,461,410.46. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 35,593 shares of company stock worth $2,279,660. 0.21% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Daiwa SB Investments Ltd. grew its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 80.5% in the fourth quarter. Daiwa SB Investments Ltd. now owns 13,720 shares of the airline’s stock worth $898,000 after acquiring an additional 6,120 shares during the last quarter. Jaffetilchin Investment Partners LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Southwest Airlines in the fourth quarter worth $467,000. DnB Asset Management AS grew its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 22.6% in the fourth quarter. DnB Asset Management AS now owns 15,167 shares of the airline’s stock worth $993,000 after acquiring an additional 2,800 shares during the last quarter. Atlantic Trust Group LLC grew its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 4.3% in the third quarter. Atlantic Trust Group LLC now owns 31,373 shares of the airline’s stock worth $1,757,000 after acquiring an additional 1,294 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC grew its stake in shares of Southwest Airlines by 4.4% in the third quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 1,585,066 shares of the airline’s stock worth $88,732,000 after acquiring an additional 66,544 shares during the last quarter. 78.55% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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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