Southwest Airlines Company (LUV) Sees Significant Growth in Short Interest

Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV) saw a significant growth in short interest in November. As of November 30th, there was short interest totalling 9,591,905 shares, a growth of 38.1% from the November 15th total of 6,944,132 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 5,327,765 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 1.8 days. Currently, 1.6% of the shares of the stock are short sold.

Several research firms have recently issued reports on LUV. Atlantic Securities upgraded shares of Southwest Airlines from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and raised their target price for the stock from $48.71 to $71.00 in a report on Thursday. Vetr lowered shares of Southwest Airlines from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating and set a $54.06 target price for the company. in a report on Tuesday, December 5th. Deutsche Bank restated a “buy” rating and issued a $71.00 target price on shares of Southwest Airlines in a report on Friday, October 27th. Cowen restated an “outperform” rating and issued a $64.00 target price (up previously from $62.00) on shares of Southwest Airlines in a report on Friday, October 27th. Finally, Macquarie began coverage on shares of Southwest Airlines in a report on Monday, September 25th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $62.00 target price for the company. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and fifteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $66.89.

Shares of Southwest Airlines (LUV) opened at $64.70 on Friday. Southwest Airlines has a twelve month low of $48.71 and a twelve month high of $64.92. The firm has a market cap of $38,900.00, a PE ratio of 18.40, a P/E/G ratio of 2.11 and a beta of 1.34. The company has a current ratio of 0.61, a quick ratio of 0.55 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.46.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 26th. The airline reported $0.88 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.87 by $0.01. Southwest Airlines had a net margin of 10.12% and a return on equity of 24.85%. The company had revenue of $5.27 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.29 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.93 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.6% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts forecast that Southwest Airlines will post 3.57 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, January 4th. Investors of record on Thursday, December 7th will be issued a dividend of $0.125 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, December 6th. This represents a $0.50 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.77%. Southwest Airlines’s payout ratio is 14.33%.

In other Southwest Airlines news, Director John T. Montford sold 935 shares of Southwest Airlines stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.94, for a total value of $50,433.90. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 25,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,348,500. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director John T. Montford sold 1,695 shares of Southwest Airlines stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $63.27, for a total transaction of $107,242.65. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 23,098 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,461,410.46. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 2,662 shares of company stock valued at $159,563 over the last ninety days. 0.21% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. BT Investment Management Ltd raised its holdings in shares of Southwest Airlines by 43.1% in the 3rd quarter. BT Investment Management Ltd now owns 408,284 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $22,857,000 after purchasing an additional 122,892 shares in the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. raised its holdings in shares of Southwest Airlines by 7.7% in the 2nd quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 216,819 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $13,472,000 after purchasing an additional 15,575 shares in the last quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Southwest Airlines by 2.4% in the 2nd quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. now owns 466,121 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $28,965,000 after purchasing an additional 10,851 shares in the last quarter. Columbus Circle Investors raised its holdings in shares of Southwest Airlines by 28.2% in the 2nd quarter. Columbus Circle Investors now owns 220,903 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $13,727,000 after purchasing an additional 48,632 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Marshall Wace North America L.P. raised its holdings in shares of Southwest Airlines by 912.7% in the 2nd quarter. Marshall Wace North America L.P. now owns 49,855 shares of the airline’s stock valued at $3,091,000 after purchasing an additional 44,932 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 78.87% of the company’s stock.

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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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