Southern Co (NYSE:SO) has received an average recommendation of “Hold” from the fourteen analysts that are presently covering the stock. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating on the company. The average 12-month price objective among brokers that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $52.29.
SO has been the topic of a number of recent analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Southern from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $55.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Monday, January 16th. Jefferies Group LLC upgraded shares of Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their target price for the stock from $50.00 to $56.00 in a research report on Friday, March 3rd. Deutsche Bank AG reduced their target price on shares of Southern from $52.00 to $50.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, April 11th. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $53.00 target price on shares of Southern in a research report on Thursday, March 30th. Finally, Argus lowered shares of Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, March 3rd.
In related news, CEO Stan W. Connally sold 16,100 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, February 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.50, for a total transaction of $813,050.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 19,424 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $980,912. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 2,182 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, February 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $50.36, for a total transaction of $109,885.52. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 10,151 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $511,204.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 1.00% of the company’s stock.
Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. State Street Corp increased its stake in Southern by 1.8% in the fourth quarter. State Street Corp now owns 48,384,854 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,380,056,000 after buying an additional 837,332 shares during the period. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. increased its stake in Southern by 4.3% in the third quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 26,749,855 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,372,268,000 after buying an additional 1,098,915 shares during the period. Franklin Resources Inc. increased its stake in Southern by 21.7% in the fourth quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 16,455,678 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $809,455,000 after buying an additional 2,934,616 shares during the period. Capital Research Global Investors increased its stake in Southern by 151.9% in the third quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 13,854,000 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $710,710,000 after buying an additional 8,354,000 shares during the period. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its stake in Southern by 20.7% in the third quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 12,220,635 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $626,918,000 after buying an additional 2,099,472 shares during the period. 51.57% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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Shares of Southern (NYSE:SO) traded up 0.42% during trading on Tuesday, reaching $49.98. 4,433,216 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $50.04 and a 200-day moving average price of $49.32. Southern has a 52-week low of $46.20 and a 52-week high of $54.64. The company has a market capitalization of $49.53 billion, a PE ratio of 19.60 and a beta of 0.05.
Southern (NYSE:SO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 22nd. The utilities provider reported $0.24 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.33 by $0.09. The firm earned $5.19 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.63 billion. Southern had a net margin of 14.14% and a return on equity of 12.69%. Southern’s quarterly revenue was up 45.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.44 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts forecast that Southern will post $2.98 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, June 6th. Investors of record on Monday, May 15th will be paid a dividend of $0.58 per share. This represents a $2.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.64%. This is an increase from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.56. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, May 11th. Southern’s payout ratio is 83.27%.
Southern Company Profile
The Southern Company (Southern Company) is a holding company. The Company owns all of the stock of the traditional electric operating companies and the parent entities of Southern Power Company (Southern Power) and Southern Company Gas, and owns other direct and indirect subsidiaries. The Company’s segments include Gas distribution operations, Gas marketing services, Wholesale gas services, Gas midstream operations and All other.
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