According to a Reuters consensus, of the 18 analysts tracking Southwest Airlines (LUV), six (33.3%) have rated the stock a “strong buy,” and another six (33.3%) have recommended a “buy.” That’s similar to 66.7% of analysts with “buy” recommendations for LUV in 1Q17. The remaining six analysts (33.3%) have a “hold” rating for the company. None of the analysts have rated the stock a “sell.”
There have been a few analyst upgrades since LUV’s 1Q17 results. Bernstein raised its target price from $65 to $66. Imperial Capital raised its target price from $63 to $68. Cowen raised its target price from $58 to $62 and maintained its “outperform” rating. However, the biggest boost for the airline came from Berkshire Hathaway, which increased its stake in LUV 10.3% to 47.7 million shares.
Southwest Airlines’ consensus 12-month target price is $67.90 compared to $62.90 after its 1Q17 earnings release. The current target price indicates a ~12.5% return potential from the closing price of $60.40 on July 20, 2017. The stock’s highest target price is $80; its lowest price target is $59.
You can gain exposure to Southwest Airlines by investing in the iShares Russell Mid-Cap Growth (IWP), which holds 1.0% of its portfolio in LUV. It also invests in Delta Air Lines (DAL), United Continental Holdings (UAL), American Airlines (AAL), and JetBlue Airways (JBLU).