Southwest Airlines Co (NYSE:LUV) was the target of a large drop in short interest during the month of June. As of June 30th, there was short interest totalling 7,413,700 shares, a drop of 35.0% from the May 30th total of 11,401,600 shares. Currently, 1.4% of the company’s stock are short sold. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 3,470,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 2.1 days.
Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Ballentine Partners LLC boosted its stake in Southwest Airlines by 4.3% in the 1st quarter. Ballentine Partners LLC now owns 4,802 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $250,000 after purchasing an additional 199 shares during the period. Haverford Financial Services Inc. boosted its stake in Southwest Airlines by 1.2% in the 1st quarter. Haverford Financial Services Inc. now owns 16,400 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $851,000 after purchasing an additional 200 shares during the period. Raymond James Trust N.A. boosted its stake in Southwest Airlines by 2.1% in the 1st quarter. Raymond James Trust N.A. now owns 10,238 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $532,000 after purchasing an additional 209 shares during the period. Piedmont Investment Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in Southwest Airlines by 0.6% in the 1st quarter. Piedmont Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 34,286 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $1,780,000 after purchasing an additional 217 shares during the period. Finally, Financial Counselors Inc. boosted its stake in Southwest Airlines by 1.1% in the 1st quarter. Financial Counselors Inc. now owns 22,303 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $1,158,000 after purchasing an additional 237 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 83.59% of the company’s stock.
A number of equities research analysts recently issued reports on LUV shares. Barclays set a $46.00 target price on D. R. Horton and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, April 26th. Raymond James reissued a “buy” rating on shares of First Quantum Minerals in a research report on Monday, April 8th. Goldman Sachs Group raised Acuity Brands from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $121.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, March 20th. Macquarie set a $52.00 target price on Southwest Airlines and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, March 28th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered G1 Therapeutics from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, May 16th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Southwest Airlines has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $58.15.
Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 25th. The airline reported $0.70 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.61 by $0.09. The firm had revenue of $5.15 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.14 billion. Southwest Airlines had a return on equity of 23.94% and a net margin of 10.78%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 4.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.79 EPS. As a group, sell-side analysts predict that Southwest Airlines will post 4.59 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, June 26th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, June 5th were paid a dividend of $0.18 per share. This is an increase from Southwest Airlines’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.16. This represents a $0.72 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.39%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, June 4th. Southwest Airlines’s payout ratio is currently 16.98%.
About Southwest Airlines
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, 2018, the company operated a total of 750 Boeing 737 aircraft; and served 99 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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