Southern (SO) Earning Somewhat Positive Media Coverage, Analysis Finds

News coverage about Southern (NYSE:SO) has trended somewhat positive recently, Accern reports. The research firm identifies negative and positive press coverage by analyzing more than twenty million blog and news sources. Accern ranks coverage of public companies on a scale of negative one to positive one, with scores closest to one being the most favorable. Southern earned a coverage optimism score of 0.20 on Accern’s scale. Accern also gave press coverage about the utilities provider an impact score of 46.3161928180769 out of 100, meaning that recent press coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an impact on the stock’s share price in the next few days.

These are some of the media headlines that may have effected Accern Sentiment’s analysis:

SO stock traded down $0.27 during midday trading on Thursday, reaching $43.62. 5,041,838 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 6,566,101. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.71, a current ratio of 0.70 and a quick ratio of 0.55. Southern has a 52 week low of $43.62 and a 52 week high of $44.42. The stock has a market capitalization of $44.72 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.44, a PEG ratio of 3.40 and a beta of 0.01.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, May 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.88 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.84 by $0.04. Southern had a net margin of 4.88% and a return on equity of 12.97%. The business had revenue of $6.37 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.98 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.66 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 10.4% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts anticipate that Southern will post 2.89 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, June 6th. Stockholders of record on Monday, May 21st will be issued a $0.60 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, May 18th. This represents a $2.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 5.50%. This is a boost from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.58. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is presently 76.82%.

SO has been the topic of a number of research reports. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Southern from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 24th. SunTrust Banks reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $45.00 price target on shares of Southern in a report on Tuesday, March 6th. JPMorgan Chase lifted their price target on shares of Southern from $43.00 to $45.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 10th. Morgan Stanley lifted their price target on shares of Southern from $44.00 to $45.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a report on Monday, April 16th. Finally, Guggenheim reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $51.00 price target on shares of Southern in a report on Friday, February 23rd. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $49.17.

About Southern

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.

Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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