Stratos Wealth Partners LTD. Increases Position in Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV)

Stratos Wealth Partners LTD. boosted its position in Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV) by 1.2% during the second quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 69,483 shares of the airline’s stock after buying an additional 791 shares during the period. Stratos Wealth Partners LTD.’s holdings in Southwest Airlines were worth $4,318,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently modified their holdings of the company. DnB Asset Management AS purchased a new position in shares of Southwest Airlines during the first quarter worth about $697,000. Norman Fields Gottscho Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Southwest Airlines during the first quarter worth about $333,000. MARSHALL WACE ASIA Ltd purchased a new position in shares of Southwest Airlines during the first quarter worth about $22,797,000. E&G Advisors LP increased its position in shares of Southwest Airlines by 2.0% in the first quarter. E&G Advisors LP now owns 5,100 shares of the airline’s stock worth $274,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the period. Finally, Wedbush Securities Inc. increased its position in shares of 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 period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 80.34% of the company’s stock.

Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE:LUV) traded up 0.24% during trading on Friday, reaching $54.14. 4,232,572 shares of the company traded hands. The firm has a market capitalization of $32.41 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.60 and a beta of 1.26. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $59.56 and its 200 day moving average price is $57.18. Southwest Airlines Company has a 52 week low of $36.05 and a 52 week high of $64.39.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The airline reported $1.24 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 return on equity of 26.07% and a net margin of 9.63%. Southwest Airlines’s quarterly revenue was up 6.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.19 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts expect that Southwest Airlines Company will post $3.80 EPS for the current year.

Southwest Airlines declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share buyback program on Wednesday, May 17th that authorizes the company to buyback $2.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the airline to reacquire up to 5.8% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

The company also recently declared 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 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.92%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, August 22nd. Southwest Airlines’s dividend payout ratio is presently 15.34%.

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A number of research firms recently issued reports on LUV. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $67.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, June 13th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Southwest Airlines from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, June 9th. Vetr upgraded shares of Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $63.80 target price on the stock in a research report on Monday, June 5th. Argus upgraded shares of Southwest Airlines from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their target price for the company from $61.76 to $68.00 in a research report on Thursday, June 22nd. Finally, Cowen and Company upped their price objective on shares of Southwest Airlines from $58.00 to $62.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, April 28th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating, eleven have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Southwest Airlines currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $65.78.

In other news, CFO Tammy Romo sold 8,322 shares of Southwest Airlines stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $59.15, for a total value of $492,246.30. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 87,387 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,168,941.05. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, COO De Ven Michael G. Van sold 15,273 shares of Southwest Airlines stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.14, for a total value of $872,699.22. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 182,302 shares in the company, valued at $10,416,736.28. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 118,740 shares of company stock worth $6,923,568 over the last ninety days. Corporate 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.

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

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