Southern (SO) Price Target Raised to $45.00 at Morgan Stanley

Southern (NYSE:SO) had its target price upped by Morgan Stanley from $44.00 to $45.00 in a research report sent to investors on Monday. The brokerage currently has an underweight rating on the utilities provider’s stock.

A number of other equities research analysts have also issued reports on the company. JPMorgan Chase upped their target price on Southern from $43.00 to $45.00 and gave the company an underweight rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 10th. TheStreet lowered Southern from a b- rating to a c rating in a research note on Monday, March 26th. SunTrust Banks set a $45.00 target price on Southern and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Monday, March 26th. Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed an underperform rating and issued a $45.00 target price (down previously from $46.00) on shares of Southern in a research note on Tuesday, February 27th. Finally, Guggenheim reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $51.00 target price on shares of Southern in a research note on Friday, February 23rd. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $49.17.

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SO stock opened at $45.07 on Monday. Southern has a 1 year low of $42.38 and a 1 year high of $53.51. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.84, a quick ratio of 0.59 and a current ratio of 0.74. The company has a market capitalization of $44,298.50, a P/E ratio of 14.92, a P/E/G ratio of 3.36 and a beta of 0.02.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, February 21st. The utilities provider reported $0.51 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.46 by $0.05. Southern had a return on equity of 11.96% and a net margin of 3.82%. The firm had revenue of $5.63 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.17 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.24 EPS. Southern’s revenue was up 8.6% on a year-over-year basis. analysts expect that Southern will post 2.91 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, June 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, May 21st will be paid a dividend of $0.60 per share. This represents a $2.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 5.33%. This is a positive change from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.58. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is currently 76.82%.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Taylor Hoffman Wealth Management purchased a new position in shares of Southern during the 4th quarter worth $104,000. We Are One Seven LLC purchased a new position in shares of Southern in the 4th quarter worth $106,000. Fieldpoint Private Securities LLC purchased a new position in shares of Southern in the 3rd quarter worth $118,000. Acropolis Investment Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Southern in the 4th quarter worth $134,000. Finally, Bank of Nova Scotia Trust Co. purchased a new position in shares of Southern in the 3rd quarter worth $147,000. 56.39% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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Southern Company Profile

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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