Southern (NYSE:SO) has been given an average rating of “Hold” by the twenty brokerages that are currently covering the company, Marketbeat reports. Seven research analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, six have assigned a hold recommendation and six have assigned a buy recommendation to the company. The average 12 month target price among brokers that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $48.19.
A number of analysts have recently issued reports on the company. Royal Bank of Canada restated a “buy” rating on shares of Southern in a report on Friday, December 22nd. JPMorgan Chase increased their target price on Southern from $43.00 to $45.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a report on Tuesday. Morgan Stanley reduced their target price on Southern from $48.00 to $44.00 and set an “underweight” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, February 13th. ValuEngine lowered Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. Finally, UBS assumed coverage on Southern in a report on Friday, February 2nd. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $46.00 target price for the company.
Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Iberiabank Corp grew its position in shares of Southern by 6.5% in the third quarter. Iberiabank Corp now owns 151,315 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $7,437,000 after purchasing an additional 9,232 shares during the last quarter. Confluence Investment Management LLC grew its position in Southern by 2.8% during the fourth quarter. Confluence Investment Management LLC now owns 2,050,249 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $98,596,000 after buying an additional 55,264 shares in the last quarter. Atlantic Trust Group LLC grew its position in Southern by 13.4% during the third quarter. Atlantic Trust Group LLC now owns 23,732 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,166,000 after buying an additional 2,804 shares in the last quarter. National Pension Service grew its position in Southern by 3.7% during the fourth quarter. National Pension Service now owns 842,651 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $40,523,000 after buying an additional 30,381 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Synovus Financial Corp grew its position in Southern by 7.2% during the third quarter. Synovus Financial Corp now owns 931,263 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $45,761,000 after buying an additional 62,321 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 56.40% of the company’s stock.
Shares of SO traded down $0.40 during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $44.37. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,324,696 shares, compared to its average volume of 7,198,766. The firm has a market capitalization of $45,155.44, a P/E ratio of 14.69, a PEG ratio of 3.44 and a beta of 0.02. Southern has a 1 year low of $42.38 and a 1 year high of $53.51. The company has a quick ratio of 0.59, a current ratio of 0.74 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.84.
Southern (NYSE:SO) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, February 21st. The utilities provider reported $0.51 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.46 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $5.63 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.17 billion. Southern had a return on equity of 11.96% and a net margin of 3.82%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.24 earnings per share. analysts expect that Southern will post 2.9 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The Southern Company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. 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, New Jersey, Florida, Tennessee, and Maryland, as well as provides gas marketing services, wholesale gas services, and gas midstream operations.
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