Southern Co (NYSE:SO) – Analysts at SunTrust Banks lifted their FY2018 earnings per share (EPS) estimates for shares of Southern in a report issued on Wednesday, November 7th. SunTrust Banks analyst A. Agha now anticipates that the utilities provider will earn $3.05 per share for the year, up from their previous estimate of $3.03. SunTrust Banks currently has a “Hold” rating and a $48.00 target price on the stock. SunTrust Banks also issued estimates for Southern’s Q4 2018 earnings at $0.23 EPS, Q2 2019 earnings at $0.78 EPS, Q3 2019 earnings at $1.13 EPS, Q4 2019 earnings at $0.23 EPS, FY2019 earnings at $3.01 EPS, Q1 2020 earnings at $0.90 EPS, Q2 2020 earnings at $0.82 EPS, Q3 2020 earnings at $1.17 EPS and FY2020 earnings at $3.13 EPS.
Several other research analysts have also commented on the company. Credit Suisse Group lowered Southern from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating and dropped their price target for the stock from $46.00 to $43.00 in a research report on Thursday, August 9th. Bank of America dropped their price target on Southern from $47.00 to $46.00 and set an “underperform” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, August 22nd. Guggenheim lowered Southern from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and dropped their price target for the stock from $50.00 to $47.00 in a research report on Wednesday, August 8th. Scotiabank reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $44.00 price target on shares of Southern in a research report on Thursday, August 9th. Finally, Evercore ISI lowered Southern from an “in-line” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 9th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $45.96.
Southern (NYSE:SO) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, November 7th. The utilities provider reported $1.14 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.07 by $0.07. Southern had a return on equity of 12.88% and a net margin of 10.35%. The firm had revenue of $6.70 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $6.68 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.12 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 8.0% compared to the same quarter last year.
Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Kaizen Advisory LLC boosted its position in shares of Southern by 133.8% during the second quarter. Kaizen Advisory LLC now owns 2,284 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $106,000 after buying an additional 1,307 shares during the period. Destination Wealth Management boosted its holdings in shares of Southern by 359.3% in the second quarter. Destination Wealth Management now owns 2,315 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $107,000 after purchasing an additional 1,811 shares during the period. Point72 Hong Kong Ltd purchased a new stake in shares of Southern in the second quarter valued at approximately $119,000. Horan Capital Advisors LLC. purchased a new stake in shares of Southern in the second quarter valued at approximately $121,000. Finally, Sound Income Strategies LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Southern by 83.5% in the third quarter. Sound Income Strategies LLC now owns 2,855 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $124,000 after purchasing an additional 1,299 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 57.42% of the company’s stock.
In other Southern news, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 16,371 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.40, for a total transaction of $775,985.40. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 10,165 shares in the company, valued at $481,821. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. 0.73% of the stock is owned by insiders.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, November 19th will be given a dividend of $0.60 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 16th. This represents a $2.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 5.12%. Southern’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 79.47%.
Southern Company Profile
The Southern Company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. The company also constructs, acquires, owns, and manages power generation assets, including renewable energy facilities and sells electricity in the wholesale market; and distributes natural gas in Illinois, Georgia, Virginia, New Jersey, Florida, Tennessee, and Maryland, as well as provides gas marketing services, wholesale gas services, and gas midstream operations.
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