At present, 35.3% of the analysts tracking the Southwest Airlines (LUV) stock have “strong buy” ratings, another 35.3% have “buy” ratings, and 29.4% have “hold” ratings on the stock. No analysts have “sell” ratings on LUV.
Analysts haven’t made any upgrades or downgrades since Southwest Airline’s traffic data release on June 7, 2017. However, the stock saw analysts’ ratings change last month.
In late May, Bernstein Research Group raised its target price for LUV from $66 to $70. Imperial Capital raised its target price for the stock from $63 to $68. Cowen & Company raised its target price from $58.00 to $62.00 with an “outperform” rating.
JPMorgan Chase downgraded LUV stock from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating. Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock from an “equal-weight” to an “overweight” rating.
In other positive news for Southwest’s investors, Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway increased its stake in Southwest Airlines by 8.2% to 49.3 million shares. This move may be one of the reasons for the stock’s huge outperformance.
Berkshire also increased its stake in American Airlines by 10.3% to 47.7 million shares. On the other hand, it reduced its stake in Delta Air Lines (DAL) by 8.3% to 55 million shares.
The 12-month consensus target price for Southwest Airlines is $65.8, higher than the $61.8 target price the stock had following its 1Q17 quarter results. Currently, the stock’s highest target price is $80, and its lowest is $59. At its current target price, the stock has a return potential of 11.1%.
Investors can gain exposure to Southwest Airlines by investing in the iShares US Consumer Services ETF (IYC), which holds 1.1% of its portfolio in LUV.