Southern Company (The)’s (SO) “Buy” Rating Reaffirmed at Jefferies Group LLC

Jefferies Group LLC reissued their buy rating on shares of Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) in a research report report published on Tuesday. The firm currently has a $56.00 target price on the utilities provider’s stock, up from their previous target price of $55.00. Jefferies Group also issued estimates for Southern Company (The)’s FY2018 earnings at $3.04 EPS, FY2019 earnings at $3.20 EPS and FY2020 earnings at $3.27 EPS.

Other analysts have also issued reports about the company. Barclays PLC restated a buy rating and issued a $55.00 target price on shares of Southern Company (The) in a research note on Monday, May 15th. Deutsche Bank AG upgraded Southern Company (The) from a hold rating to a buy rating and lifted their price objective for the stock from $50.00 to $52.00 in a research report on Tuesday, August 1st. Mizuho upgraded Southern Company (The) from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $53.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, September 5th. Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a hold rating and issued a $53.00 price objective on shares of Southern Company (The) in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Finally, BidaskClub upgraded Southern Company (The) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Friday, August 4th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company. Southern Company (The) has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $49.14.

Southern Company (NYSE:SO) opened at 49.56 on Tuesday. Southern Company has a 12 month low of $46.20 and a 12 month high of $53.73. The company has a 50-day moving average of $48.55 and a 200-day moving average of $49.47. The company has a market cap of $49.53 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 81.51 and a beta of 0.13.

Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.73 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.71 by $0.02. Southern Company (The) had a return on equity of 11.30% and a net margin of 2.93%. The company had revenue of $5.43 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.23 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.74 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 21.7% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts predict that Southern Company will post $2.94 EPS for the current year.

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The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, September 6th. Stockholders of record on Monday, August 21st were issued a dividend of $0.58 per share. This represents a $2.32 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.68%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, August 17th. Southern Company (The)’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 346.27%.

In other news, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 75,144 shares of Southern Company (The) stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $49.29, for a total transaction of $3,703,847.76. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 85,298 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,204,338.42. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Insiders own 0.74% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in SO. Waldron LP bought a new stake in Southern Company (The) in the 1st quarter valued at approximately $216,000. Glen Harbor Capital Management LLC lifted its stake in Southern Company (The) by 23.9% in the 1st quarter. Glen Harbor Capital Management LLC now owns 572,740 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $28,511,000 after acquiring an additional 110,404 shares in the last quarter. Duncker Streett & Co. Inc. lifted its stake in Southern Company (The) by 7.9% in the 1st quarter. Duncker Streett & Co. Inc. now owns 16,141 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $803,000 after acquiring an additional 1,182 shares in the last quarter. Court Place Advisors LLC lifted its stake in Southern Company (The) by 1.6% in the 1st quarter. Court Place Advisors LLC now owns 17,090 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $851,000 after acquiring an additional 262 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Livingston Group Asset Management CO operating as Southport Capital Management lifted its stake in Southern Company (The) by 126.3% in the 1st quarter. Livingston Group Asset Management CO operating as Southport Capital Management now owns 10,513 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $523,000 after acquiring an additional 5,867 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 53.27% of the company’s stock.

Southern Company (The) 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.

Analyst Recommendations for Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO)

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