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Southern (NYSE:SO) was upgraded by Hilliard Lyons to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Friday, American Banking News reports.

A number of other firms have also recently commented on SO. Analysts at Citigroup Inc. downgraded shares of Southern from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note to investors on Thursday. Separately, analysts at Jefferies Group cut their price target on shares of Southern from $45.00 to $43.00 in a research note to investors on Thursday. They now have a “hold” rating on the stock. Finally, analysts at ISI Group cut their price target on shares of Southern from $42.00 to $40.50 in a research note to investors on Thursday. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have assigned a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. Southern currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $44.65.

Southern (NYSE:SO) traded up 0.64% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $41.1501. 860,498 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. Southern has a 1-year low of $40.03 and a 1-year high of $48.74. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $40.91 and a 200-day moving average of $41.88. The company has a market cap of $36.284 billion and a P/E ratio of 22.23.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, January 29th. The company reported $0.48 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $0.46 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $3.93 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.87 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.44 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.0% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts expect that Southern will post $2.69 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which is scheduled for Thursday, March 6th. Investors of record on Monday, February 3rd will be given a dividend of 0.5075 per share. This represents a $2.03 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.96%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, January 30th.

The Southern Company (NYSE:SO)is a holding company, which owns all of the common stock of the traditional operating companies, including Alabama Power Company (Alabama Power), Georgia Power Company (Georgia Power), Gulf Power Company (Gulf Power), and Mississippi Power Company (Mississippi Power) ,and Southern Power Company (Southern Power), and other direct and indirect subsidiaries (together, the Southern Company system).

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