Is this the best time to Buy Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV) stock?

Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV) traded at $39.53 at last check on Monday, Sep 14, making an upward move of 1.48% on its previous day’s price.

Looking at the stock we see that its previous close was $38.95 and the beta (5Y monthly) reads 1.29 with the day’s price range being $39.08 – 39.80. The company has a 12-month trailing PE ratio of 114.22. In terms of its 52-week price range, LUV has a high of $58.83 and a low of $22.47. The company’s stock has gained about 10.5% over that past 30 days.

Southwest has a market cap of $22.97 Billion and is expected to release its quarterly earnings report on October 22, 2020. With its Forward Dividend at 0 and a yield of 0%, the company’s investors could be worried for the LUV stock to lose ahead of the earnings release. Estimates by analysts give the company expected earnings per share (EPS) of -$2.31, with the EPS growth for the year declined at -$6.33 for 2020 and $1.62 for next year. These figures represent -2.48% and at -1.26% growth in EPS for the two years respectively.

Analysts tracking the company’s growth have also given it a consensus growth in revenue estimated at $1.7 Billion, with a low of $1.45 Billion and a high of $2.17 Billion. The median projection represents growth adding up to -69.9% compared to sales earnings for the corresponding quarter a year ago. According to analyst consensus estimates figures, the company’s yearly revenue forecasts for 2020 are expected to hit $9.7 Billion, or -56.8% down from figures reported last year.

On the other hand, looking at the outlook for the LUV stock, short term indicators assign the stock an average of 50% Buy, while medium term indicators assign it an average of Hold. Long term indicators on average place the stock in the category of Hold.

Based on estimates by 21 analysts where scores have ranged from 1.00 for a strong buy to 5.00 for a strong sell, 8 have rated the Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV) stock as a Hold, while 13 rate it as a Buy. None analysts rate it as outperform while none of them rated it as underperform, whereas none suggests the stock as a Sell. The stock has an overall rating of Overweight and investors could take advantage and scoop up stock of the company.

Looking further, we note that the PEG ratio for the LUV stock currently stands at 0, and the current price level is 6.32% off its SMA20 and 13.8% from its 50-day simple moving average. The RSI (14) is pointing at 62.89 while the volatility over the past week is 3.66% and jumps to 3.85% over the past one month. The beta value is 1.29, while the average true range (ATR) is currently pointing at 1.5. The average price target for the stock over the next 12 months is $42.61, with the estimates having a low of $29 and a high of $54. These price ends are -26.64% and +36.61% off the current price level respectively, although investors could be excited at the prospect of a +8.78% if the LUV share price touches on the median price of $43.

Let’s briefly compare Southwest (LUV) stock to its peers. We find that today’s price change of +1.48% and -29.16% over the past 12 months for LUV competes that of Delta Air Lines Inc (DAL), which has seen its stock price rise 2.27% in the latest trading session and is -46.67% over the last one year. Another of its peers Ryanair Hlds Plc (RYAAY) has climbed 1.97% today, and is +38.33% up over the past year, while United Airlines Holdings Inc (UAL) is also up 1.48% yet its price remains in the red at -29.16% over the same period. Delta has a P/E ratio of 0 compared to Southwest’s 114.22 and Ryanair’s 79.53. In contrast to these companies, both the S&P 500 Index and the Dow Jones Industrial are today at 1.61% and 1.34%, respectively, in early deals.

Coming back to Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE:LUV), we note that the average 3-month trading volume was 14.23 Million, while that of the preceding 10-day period stands at 12.13 Million. Current shares outstanding are 589.87 Million.

According to data from Thomson Reuters, insiders hold 0.25% of the company’s shares while institutions hold 76.34%. The data shows that short shares as of August 30, 2020, stood at 15.29 Million at a short ratio of 1.26. This represents a 2.59% Short interest in Shares outstanding on August 30, 2020. Shares short rose in August from the previous month at 12.55 Million. Investors should be excited about this stock as its upside potential is great, with today’s price pushing the stock -27.84% down in year-to-date price movement.

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