Southern (SO) PT Raised to $46.00 at Credit Suisse Group

Southern (NYSE:SO) had its price objective hoisted by Credit Suisse Group from $44.00 to $46.00 in a research note released on Thursday. Credit Suisse Group currently has an underperform rating on the utilities provider’s stock.

Other equities analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. Guggenheim cut Southern from a buy rating to a neutral rating and cut their price target for the company from $50.00 to $47.00 in a report on Wednesday, August 8th. Scotiabank restated a hold rating and set a $44.00 price target on shares of Southern in a report on Thursday, August 9th. Bank of America cut their price target on Southern from $47.00 to $46.00 and set an underperform rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, August 22nd. UBS Group raised their price target on Southern from $46.00 to $47.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a report on Monday, October 29th. Finally, Evercore ISI cut Southern from an in-line rating to an underperform rating in a report on Thursday, August 9th. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company. Southern presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $46.54.

NYSE SO opened at $46.98 on Thursday. The company has a market cap of $48.34 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.56, a PEG ratio of 3.44 and a beta of -0.07. 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 1-year low of $42.38 and a 1-year high of $52.00.

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

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, December 6th. Stockholders of record on Monday, November 19th were issued a $0.60 dividend. This represents a $2.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 5.11%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, November 16th. Southern’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 79.47%.

In other news, insider Mark Lantrip sold 9,000 shares of Southern stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, December 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.58, for a total value of $428,220.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CEO Kimberly S. Greene sold 15,000 shares of Southern stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.03, for a total value of $705,450.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 9,380 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $441,141.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.73% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Horan Capital Advisors LLC. bought a new stake in shares of Southern during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $121,000. Point72 Hong Kong Ltd bought a new stake in shares of Southern during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $119,000. Sound Income Strategies LLC lifted its stake in shares of Southern by 83.5% during the 3rd quarter. Sound Income Strategies LLC now owns 2,855 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $124,000 after acquiring an additional 1,299 shares during the last quarter. Psagot Investment House Ltd. bought a new stake in shares of Southern during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $127,000. Finally, Pathstone Family Office LLC bought a new stake in shares of Southern during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $141,000. 56.58% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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