Southern Co (SO) Given Average Recommendation of “Hold” by Analysts

Southern Co (NYSE:SO) has been given an average rating of “Hold” by the twenty ratings firms that are currently covering the firm, MarketBeat.com reports. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company. The average twelve-month price objective among brokerages that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $48.19.

A number of research analysts have recently commented on SO shares. ValuEngine cut Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. UBS assumed coverage on Southern in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $46.00 price objective on the stock. SunTrust Banks set a $47.00 price objective on Southern and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, February 5th. Morgan Stanley dropped their price objective on Southern from $48.00 to $44.00 and set an “underweight” rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, February 13th. Finally, Deutsche Bank dropped their price objective on Southern from $50.00 to $49.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, February 22nd.

SO stock traded up $0.30 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $44.55. 111,515 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 5,075,603. Southern has a 52-week low of $42.38 and a 52-week high of $53.51. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.71, a current ratio of 0.70 and a quick ratio of 0.55. The company has a market cap of $44.50 billion, a PE ratio of 14.76, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.03 and a beta of 0.01.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last issued its quarterly earnings data 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 return on equity of 12.97% and a net margin of 4.88%. The business had revenue of $6.37 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.98 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.66 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 10.4% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts expect that Southern will post 2.9 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, June 6th. Stockholders of record on Monday, May 21st will be issued a dividend of $0.60 per share. This represents a $2.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 5.39%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, May 18th. This is a positive change from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.58. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is currently 79.47%.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Reilly Financial Advisors LLC grew its position in Southern by 6.6% during the 4th quarter. Reilly Financial Advisors LLC now owns 47,328 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,276,000 after purchasing an additional 2,930 shares during the period. Meag Munich Ergo Kapitalanlagegesellschaft MBH acquired a new stake in Southern during the 4th quarter worth about $3,776,000. WINTON GROUP Ltd grew its position in Southern by 260.7% during the 4th quarter. WINTON GROUP Ltd now owns 158,362 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $7,616,000 after purchasing an additional 114,456 shares during the period. Mackenzie Financial Corp grew its position in Southern by 19.2% during the 4th quarter. Mackenzie Financial Corp now owns 16,352 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $786,000 after purchasing an additional 2,635 shares during the period. Finally, Macquarie Group Ltd. grew its position in Southern by 18.2% during the 4th quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 366,026 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $4,097,000 after purchasing an additional 56,426 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 56.97% of the company’s stock.

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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