Southern Co. (NYSE:SO) had its price objective raised by equities research analysts at SunTrust Banks Inc. from $52.00 to $54.00 in a research note issued to investors on Monday. The firm presently has a “neutral” rating on the stock. SunTrust Banks Inc.’s price objective would suggest a potential upside of 2.20% from the stock’s previous close.
Several other research analysts have also recently weighed in on the company. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Southern in a research note on Thursday, August 4th. Mizuho raised their target price on Southern from $50.00 to $52.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 12th. Argus reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Southern in a research note on Wednesday, June 15th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $54.00 target price on shares of Southern in a research note on Thursday, July 14th. Finally, Barclays PLC raised Southern from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and raised their target price for the company from $54.00 to $62.00 in a research note on Thursday, July 14th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $53.50.
Shares of Southern (NYSE:SO) opened at 52.84 on Monday. The firm has a market cap of $49.75 billion, a PE ratio of 20.98 and a beta of 0.05. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $52.01 and its 200-day moving average is $51.40. Southern has a 12-month low of $43.38 and a 12-month high of $54.64.
Southern (NYSE:SO) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $0.74 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.70 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $4.45 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.54 billion. Southern had a return on equity of 12.50% and a net margin of 13.77%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 2.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.71 earnings per share. Equities analysts expect that Southern will post $2.86 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, September 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, August 15th were given a dividend of $0.56 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, August 11th. This represents a $2.24 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.24%. Southern’s payout ratio is presently 87.50%.
In other news, insider Ann P. Daiss sold 7,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.28, for a total transaction of $372,960.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 9,394 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $500,512.32. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CFO Art P. Beattie sold 123,207 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.12, for a total value of $6,667,962.84. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 75,141 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,066,630.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 1.00% of the company’s stock.
Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of SO. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Southern by 5.6% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 60,379,260 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,238,139,000 after buying an additional 3,222,084 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp increased its position in shares of Southern by 1.9% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 46,544,013 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,496,153,000 after buying an additional 858,466 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. increased its position in shares of Southern by 3.0% in the second quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 25,650,940 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,375,660,000 after buying an additional 749,727 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors increased its position in shares of Southern by 13.0% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 19,032,403 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,020,708,000 after buying an additional 2,194,490 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its position in shares of Southern by 0.5% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 10,577,864 shares of the company’s stock worth $567,291,000 after buying an additional 57,511 shares during the last quarter. 48.64% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
Southern Company Profile
The Southern Company (Southern Company) is a holding company. The Company owns all of the stock of the traditional operating companies and Southern Power Company (Southern Power), and owns other direct and indirect subsidiaries. Southern Company’s segments include the sale of electricity by four traditional operating companies, Southern Power and All Other.
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