Legg Mason Asset Management Japan Co. Ltd. lowered its stake in Southwest Airlines Co (NYSE:LUV) by 4.7% during the fourth quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The firm owned 12,300 shares of the airline’s stock after selling 600 shares during the period. Legg Mason Asset Management Japan Co. Ltd.’s holdings in Southwest Airlines were worth $572,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of LUV. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund increased its stake in Southwest Airlines by 3,711.1% in the 4th quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 7,546,074 shares of the airline’s stock worth $162,000 after purchasing an additional 7,348,070 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in Southwest Airlines by 8.5% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 28,978,210 shares of the airline’s stock worth $1,346,907,000 after purchasing an additional 2,282,027 shares in the last quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC increased its stake in Southwest Airlines by 110.8% in the 3rd quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 3,496,061 shares of the airline’s stock worth $218,329,000 after purchasing an additional 1,837,517 shares in the last quarter. Impala Asset Management LLC increased its stake in Southwest Airlines by 5,662.8% in the 3rd quarter. Impala Asset Management LLC now owns 1,710,796 shares of the airline’s stock worth $106,839,000 after purchasing an additional 1,681,109 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in Southwest Airlines by 37.7% in the 4th quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 4,920,617 shares of the airline’s stock worth $228,736,000 after purchasing an additional 1,348,168 shares in the last quarter. 79.84% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

A number of brokerages recently weighed in on LUV. Zacks Investment Research cut Southwest Airlines from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 12th. Macquarie set a $65.00 price target on Southwest Airlines and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 29th. Wolfe Research cut Southwest Airlines from an “outperform” rating to a “peer perform” rating in a research note on Friday, March 8th. Imperial Capital reaffirmed an “in-line” rating and set a $52.00 target price (down previously from $57.00) on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research note on Wednesday, January 9th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group cut Southwest Airlines from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating and lowered their target price for the company from $66.00 to $54.00 in a research note on Wednesday, February 20th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $61.76.

NYSE:LUV opened at $51.37 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.45, a quick ratio of 0.58 and a current ratio of 0.64. Southwest Airlines Co has a fifty-two week low of $44.28 and a fifty-two week high of $64.02. The stock has a market cap of $28.39 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.12, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.86 and a beta of 1.51.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last released its earnings results on Thursday, January 24th. The airline reported $1.17 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.06 by $0.11. The company had revenue of $5.70 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.68 billion. Southwest Airlines had a return on equity of 24.56% and a net margin of 11.22%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.77 EPS. As a group, equities analysts forecast that Southwest Airlines Co will post 5.12 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, March 27th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, March 6th will be issued a dividend of $0.16 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, March 5th. This represents a $0.64 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.25%. Southwest Airlines’s dividend payout ratio is 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, 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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV)

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