Analysts Set Southern Co (NYSE:SO) PT at $59.65

Southern Co (NYSE:SO) has been assigned a consensus rating of “Hold” from the fifteen brokerages that are currently covering the stock, MarketBeat.com reports. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and ten have given a hold rating to the company. The average 1-year target price among brokerages that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $59.65.

Several analysts have issued reports on the stock. SunTrust Banks boosted their target price on shares of Southern from $60.00 to $63.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 18th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted their target price on shares of Southern from $63.00 to $64.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 18th. Evercore ISI reissued a “hold” rating and set a $63.50 price target on shares of Southern in a research report on Sunday, December 15th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group upped their price target on Southern from $60.00 to $64.00 and gave the company an “underperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, December 18th.

Shares of NYSE SO traded up $1.11 during trading on Thursday, hitting $67.26. The company had a trading volume of 6,072,573 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,562,033. The business’s 50-day moving average is $62.93 and its 200 day moving average is $60.28. The company has a market cap of $69.37 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.91, a PEG ratio of 4.63 and a beta of 0.15. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.37, a quick ratio of 0.77 and a current ratio of 0.94. Southern has a 52 week low of $46.49 and a 52 week high of $67.33.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 30th. The utilities provider reported $1.34 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.20. Southern had a net margin of 21.02% and a return on equity of 10.52%. The business had revenue of $6 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $6.01 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.14 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was down 2.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, research analysts expect that Southern will post 3.1 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 6th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, February 18th will be paid a $0.62 dividend. This represents a $2.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.69%. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is presently 80.78%.

In other Southern news, CEO Anthony L. Wilson sold 61,018 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, January 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.00, for a total value of $3,966,170.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 90,208 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,863,520. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CEO Thomas A. Fanning sold 2,066,499 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, December 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.99, for a total value of $130,168,772.01. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 1,236,147 shares in the company, valued at approximately $77,864,899.53. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 2,218,238 shares of company stock worth $139,737,603 over the last ninety days. 0.88% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Lenox Wealth Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Southern during the 3rd quarter worth $25,000. KCS Wealth Advisory acquired a new position in Southern during the third quarter worth $25,000. Salomon & Ludwin LLC acquired a new position in Southern during the second quarter worth $29,000. Venturi Wealth Management LLC acquired a new position in Southern during the third quarter worth $34,000. Finally, Alpha Windward LLC acquired a new position in Southern during the fourth quarter worth $36,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 58.97% of the company’s stock.

About Southern

The Southern Company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. It operates in four segments: Gas Distribution Operations, Gas Pipeline Investments, Wholesale Gas Services, and Gas Marketing Services. 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, and Tennessee, as well as provides gas marketing services, wholesale gas services, and gas pipeline investments operations.

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Analyst Recommendations for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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