Brokerages Set The Southern Company (NYSE:SO) Price Target at $67.10

The Southern Company (NYSE:SO) has been given an average rating of “Hold” by the thirteen research firms that are currently covering the stock, Marketbeat reports. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company. The average twelve-month price objective among brokerages that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $67.55.

Several research firms recently issued reports on SO. Credit Suisse Group reissued a “buy” rating on shares of The Southern in a report on Wednesday, May 19th. Morgan Stanley increased their target price on shares of The Southern from $60.00 to $64.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a report on Thursday, August 19th. Barclays increased their target price on shares of The Southern from $70.00 to $76.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 25th. Mizuho increased their target price on shares of The Southern from $57.00 to $60.00 and gave the company an “underperform” rating in a report on Monday, August 30th. Finally, Guggenheim raised shares of The Southern from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $72.00 target price for the company in a report on Tuesday, September 7th.

In related news, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 2,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $67.04, for a total transaction of $167,600.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 89,151 shares in the company, valued at $5,976,683.04. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Martin Bernard Davis sold 7,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $64.61, for a total transaction of $452,270.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 28,089 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,814,830.29. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 87,247 shares of company stock worth $5,813,034 over the last quarter. Company insiders own 0.43% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in SO. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its holdings in shares of The Southern by 1.6% in the 4th quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,946,580 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $119,567,000 after purchasing an additional 30,157 shares during the last quarter. IFP Advisors Inc boosted its holdings in shares of The Southern by 4.7% in the 1st quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 16,080 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,002,000 after purchasing an additional 720 shares during the last quarter. Field & Main Bank boosted its holdings in shares of The Southern by 140.0% in the 1st quarter. Field & Main Bank now owns 1,200 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $75,000 after purchasing an additional 700 shares during the last quarter. Intrua Financial LLC purchased a new position in shares of The Southern in the 1st quarter valued at $276,000. Finally, McKinley Carter Wealth Services Inc. raised its stake in shares of The Southern by 17.9% in the 1st quarter. McKinley Carter Wealth Services Inc. now owns 24,810 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,542,000 after acquiring an additional 3,771 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 59.30% of the company’s stock.

NYSE SO traded down $0.36 during trading hours on Tuesday, hitting $65.97. 3,252,677 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 4,001,654. The company has a market cap of $69.85 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.21, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.01 and a beta of 0.45. The Southern has a 12-month low of $52.01 and a 12-month high of $67.54. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $64.79 and a 200 day moving average of $63.53. The company has a quick ratio of 0.65, a current ratio of 0.82 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.46.

The Southern (NYSE:SO) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 29th. The utilities provider reported $0.84 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.79 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $5.20 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5 billion. The Southern had a net margin of 14.47% and a return on equity of 11.43%. On average, equities research analysts expect that The Southern will post 3.35 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, September 7th. Stockholders of record on Monday, August 16th were given a $0.66 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, August 13th. This represents a $2.64 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.00%. The Southern’s dividend payout ratio is presently 81.23%.

The Southern Company Profile

The Southern Co is a holding company. The firm engages in the sale of electricity. It operates through the following segments: Traditional Electric Operating Companies, Southern Power and Southern Company Gas. The Traditional Electric Operating Companies segment refers to vertically integrated utilities that own generation, transmission and distribution facilities, and supplies electric services in the states of Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Mississippi.

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Analyst Recommendations for The Southern (NYSE:SO)

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