Airlines Stocks

Southwest Airlines Co Valuation – March 2019 #LUV

Company Profile (excerpt from Reuters): Southwest Airlines Co. (Southwest), incorporated on March 9, 1967, operates Southwest Airlines, a passenger airline that provides scheduled air transportation in the United States and near-international markets. Southwest provides point-to-point service. As of December 31, 2016, Southwest operated a total of 723 Boeing 737 aircraft and served 101 destinations in 40 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and eight near-international countries: Mexico, Jamaica, The Bahamas, Aruba, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Belize and Cuba. During the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016, the Company commenced international service out of Los Angeles International Airport by introducing service to Liberia, Costa Rica, and later to three airports in Mexico’s coastal regions: Cancun, San Jose del Cabo/Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta. Southwest bundles fares into three categories: Wanna Get Away, Anytime and Business Select.

 

Downloadable PDF version of this valuation:

ModernGraham Valuation of LUV – March 2019

Stage 1: Is this company suitable for the Defensive Investor or the Enterprising Investor?

What kind of Intelligent Investor are you?

Defensive Investor; must pass 6 out of the following 7 tests.
1. Adequate Size of the Enterprise Market Cap > $2Bil $28,679,031,872 Pass
2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition Current Ratio > 2 0.64 Fail
3. Earnings Stability Positive EPS for 10 years prior Pass
4. Dividend Record Dividend Payments for 10 years prior Pass
5. Earnings Growth Increase of 33% in EPS in past 10 years using 3 year averages at beginning and end 922.14% Pass
6. Moderate PEmg Ratio PEmg < 20 11.74 Pass
7. Moderate Price to Assets PB Ratio < 2.5 OR PB*PEmg < 50 2.94 Pass
Enterprising Investor; must pass 4 out of the following 5 tests, or be suitable for the Defensive Investor.
1. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition Current Ratio > 1.5 0.64 Fail
2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition Debt to NCA < 1.1 -0.96 Fail
3. Earnings Stability Positive EPS for 5 years prior Pass
4. Dividend Record Currently Pays Dividend Pass
5. Earnings Growth EPSmg greater than 5 years ago Pass

 

Stage 2: Determination of Intrinsic Value

EPSmg $4.42
MG Growth Estimate 15.00%
MG Value $170.14
Opinion Undervalued
MG Grade B-
MG Value based on 3% Growth $64.08
MG Value based on 0% Growth $37.56
Market Implied Growth Rate 1.62%
Current Price $51.88
% of Intrinsic Value 30.49%

Southwest Airlines Co qualifies for both the Defensive Investor and the Enterprising Investor. The Defensive Investor is only initially concerned with the low current ratio. The Enterprising Investor has concerns regarding the level of debt relative to the current assets. As a result, all value investors following the ModernGraham approach should feel comfortable proceeding with the analysis.

As for a valuation, the company appears to be Undervalued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $1.83 in 2015 to an estimated $4.42 for 2019. This level of demonstrated earnings growth outpaces the market’s implied estimate of 1.62% annual earnings growth over the next 7-10 years. As a result, the ModernGraham valuation model, based on the Benjamin Graham value investing formula, returns an estimate of intrinsic value above the price.

At the time of valuation, further research into Southwest Airlines Co revealed the company was trading above its Graham Number of $41.89. The company pays a dividend of $0.61 per share, for a yield of 1.2% Its PEmg (price over earnings per share – ModernGraham) was 11.74, which was above the industry average of 10.49. Finally, the company was trading above its Net Current Asset Value (NCAV) of $-20.33.

Southwest Airlines Co performs fairly well in the ModernGraham grading system, scoring a B-.

Stage 3: Information for Further Research

Net Current Asset Value (NCAV) -$20.33
Graham Number $41.89
PEmg 11.74
Current Ratio 0.64
PB Ratio 2.94
Current Dividend $0.61
Dividend Yield 1.17%
Number of Consecutive Years of Dividend Growth 7

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Most Recent Balance Sheet Figures

Balance Sheet Information 12/1/2018
Total Current Assets $5,028,000,000
Total Current Liabilities $7,905,000,000
Long-Term Debt $2,771,000,000
Total Assets $26,243,000,000
Intangible Assets $1,369,000,000
Total Liabilities $16,390,000,000
Shares Outstanding (Diluted Average) 559,000,000

Earnings Per Share History

EPS History
Next Fiscal Year Estimate $4.45
Dec2018 $4.29
Dec2017 $5.57
Dec2016 $3.45
Dec2015 $3.27
Dec2014 $1.64
Dec2013 $1.05
Dec2012 $0.56
Dec2011 $0.23
Dec2010 $0.61
Dec2009 $0.13
Dec2008 $0.24
Dec2007 $0.84
Dec2006 $0.61
Dec2005 $0.60
Dec2004 $0.38
Dec2003 $0.46
Dec2002 $0.23
Dec2001 $0.63
Dec2000 $0.79
Dec1999 $0.59

Earnings Per Share – ModernGraham History

EPSmg History
Next Fiscal Year Estimate $4.42
Dec2018 $4.15
Dec2017 $3.72
Dec2016 $2.53
Dec2015 $1.83
Dec2014 $1.01
Dec2013 $0.64
Dec2012 $0.40
Dec2011 $0.35
Dec2010 $0.44
Dec2009 $0.40
Dec2008 $0.53
Dec2007 $0.64
Dec2006 $0.52
Dec2005 $0.47
Dec2004 $0.43
Dec2003 $0.49

Recommended Reading:

Other ModernGraham posts about the company

10 Undervalued Companies for the Defensive Investor – June 2018
Southwest Airlines Co Valuation – May 2018 $LUV
Southwest Airlines Co Valuation – February 2017 $LUV
Southwest Airlines Company Valuation – October 2015 Update $LUV
18 Companies in the Spotlight This Week – 10/25/14

Other ModernGraham posts about related companies

Alaska Air Group Inc Valuation – February 2019 $ALK
Delta Air Lines Inc Valuation – January 2019 $DAL
United Continental Holdings Inc Valuation – January 2019 $UAL
JetBlue Airways Corp Valuation – August 2018 $JBLU
SkyWest Inc Valuation – July 2018 $SKYW
American Airlines Group Inc Valuation – May 2018 $AAL
Southwest Airlines Co Valuation – May 2018 $LUV
Alaska Air Group Inc Valuation – May 2018 $ALK
Delta Air Lines Inc Valuation – March 2018 $DAL
United Continental Holdings Inc Valuation – Initial Coverage $UAL

Disclaimer:

The author did not hold a position in any company mentioned in this article at the time of publication and had no intention of changing that position within the next 72 hours.  See my current holdings here.  This article is not investment advice; any reader should speak to a registered investment adviser prior to making any investment decisions.  ModernGraham is not affiliated with the company in any manner.  Please be sure to review our detailed disclaimer.

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