Zacks Upgrades Southwest Airlines to “Outperform” (LUV)

Zacks? analyst wrote, ?We upgrade our recommendation on Southwest Airlines to Outperform from Neutral based on a number of constructive actions adopted by management. We believe that the company remains committed to sustain its brand and operational excellence via its cost-cutting measures, fleet rightsizing, addition of new and attractive destinations. The company?s Evolve retrofit program, steady capacity growth, All-New Rapid Rewards and several steps to enhance ancillary revenues will position it advantageously in the coming days. Apart from the AirTran merger ? which can provide additional synergies, Southwest has set a number of initiatives to boost its profitability level in 2013. We also appreciate Southwest?s focus on uplifting its financial prosperity and capital efficiency. ? Shares of Southwest Airlines traded up 0.54% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $11.08. Southwest Airlines has a one year low of $7.76 and a one year high of $11.27. The stock?s 50-day moving average is currently $10.23. The company has a market cap of $8.177 billion and a P/E ratio of 16.95.

Southwest Airlines last announced its earnings results on Thursday, October 18th. The company reported $0.13 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the analysts? consensus estimate of $0.13. The company?s quarterly revenue was up .0% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts expect that Southwest Airlines will post $0.53 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Several other analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Analysts at JPMorgan Chase reiterated a ?neutral? rating on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research note to investors on Tuesday. They now have a $12.50 price target on the stock. Separately, analysts at Goldman Sachs reiterated a ?neutral? rating on shares of Southwest Airlines in a research note to investors on Thursday, January 10th. They now have a $11.40 price target on the stock. Finally, analysts at Deutsche Bank upgraded shares of Southwest Airlines from a ?hold? rating to a ?buy? rating in a research note to investors on Tuesday, January 8th. They now have a $15.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $11.00.

Six research analysts have rated the stock with a buy rating, one has given an overweight rating, nine have issued a hold rating, one has assigned an underweight rating, and one has issued a sell rating to the company?s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of ?overweight? and a consensus price target of $12.09.

Southwest Airlines Co operates Southwest Airlines, a passenger airline, which provides scheduled air transportation in the United States. To view Zacks? full report, visit www.zacks.com

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