Southern Co (SO) Receives Consensus Recommendation of “Hold” from Analysts

Southern Co (NYSE:SO) has received a consensus recommendation of “Hold” from the nineteen brokerages that are currently covering the firm, Marketbeat.com reports. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. The average 1-year target price among brokers that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $46.32.

A number of analysts have weighed in on SO shares. Bank of America raised shares of Southern from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $46.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, October 10th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $49.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, October 9th. ValuEngine raised shares of Southern from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, October 19th. Morgan Stanley decreased their target price on shares of Southern from $45.00 to $44.00 and set a “sell” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, September 21st. Finally, UBS Group boosted their target price on shares of Southern from $46.00 to $47.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, October 29th.

NYSE:SO traded up $0.09 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $45.72. The stock had a trading volume of 2,805,420 shares, compared to its average volume of 6,209,661. The stock has a market capitalization of $46.95 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.14, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.34 and a beta of -0.09. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.48, a current ratio of 0.72 and a quick ratio of 0.58. Southern has a 12 month low of $42.38 and a 12 month high of $52.00.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 7th. The utilities provider reported $1.14 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.07 by $0.07. The business had revenue of $6.70 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $6.68 billion. Southern had a net margin of 10.35% and a return on equity of 12.88%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 8.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.12 earnings per share. As a group, analysts anticipate that Southern will post 3.03 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 6th. Stockholders of record on Monday, November 19th will be issued a dividend of $0.60 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 16th. This represents a $2.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 5.25%. Southern’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 79.47%.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Kaizen Advisory LLC lifted its holdings in Southern by 133.8% in 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 lifted its holdings in 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 buying an additional 1,811 shares during the period. Point72 Hong Kong Ltd acquired a new position in Southern in the second quarter valued at $119,000. Horan Capital Advisors LLC. acquired a new position in Southern in the second quarter valued at $121,000. Finally, Sound Income Strategies LLC lifted its holdings in 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 buying an additional 1,299 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 56.97% of the company’s stock.

About Southern

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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Analyst Recommendations for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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