Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) – Equities researchers at SunTrust Banks increased their Q4 2017 earnings per share estimates for shares of Southern Company (The) in a note issued to investors on Thursday. SunTrust Banks analyst A. Agha now expects that the utilities provider will post earnings of $0.50 per share for the quarter, up from their previous forecast of $0.27. SunTrust Banks also issued estimates for Southern Company (The)’s Q1 2018 earnings at $0.67 EPS, Q3 2018 earnings at $1.08 EPS and Q4 2018 earnings at $0.51 EPS.

Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.73 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.71 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $5.43 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.23 billion. Southern Company (The) had a net margin of 2.93% and a return on equity of 11.30%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 21.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.74 EPS. COPYRIGHT VIOLATION WARNING: “SunTrust Banks Comments on Southern Company (The)’s Q4 2017 Earnings (SO)” was originally published by American Banking News and is the property of of American Banking News. If you are reading this news story on another publication, it was illegally copied and republished in violation of US & international copyright legislation. The correct version of this news story can be accessed at https://www.americanbankingnews.com/2017/08/07/suntrust-banks-comments-on-southern-company-thes-q4-2017-earnings-so.html.

Several other equities analysts also recently commented on SO. Credit Suisse Group upgraded shares of Southern Company (The) from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Southern Company (The) from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday. Royal Bank Of Canada restated a “hold” rating and issued a $53.00 price target on shares of Southern Company (The) in a research note on Monday, July 31st. Deutsche Bank AG upgraded shares of Southern Company (The) from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their price target for the company from $50.00 to $52.00 in a research note on Tuesday, August 1st. Finally, Barclays PLC restated a “buy” rating and issued a $54.00 price target on shares of Southern Company (The) in a research note on Tuesday, July 25th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $51.54.

Southern Company (NYSE SO) opened at 48.79 on Monday. Southern Company has a 12-month low of $46.20 and a 12-month high of $53.73. The company has a market capitalization of $48.76 billion, a P/E ratio of 80.25 and a beta of 0.12. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $48.60 and its 200-day moving average is $49.48.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, September 6th. Investors of record on Monday, August 21st will be given a dividend of $0.58 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, August 17th. This represents a $2.32 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.76%. Southern Company (The)’s dividend payout ratio is 346.27%.

In related news, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 75,144 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.29, for a total transaction of $3,703,847.76. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 85,298 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,204,338.42. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CEO Mark Lantrip sold 25,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, June 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.50, for a total transaction of $1,287,500.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 31,080 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,600,620. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 152,084 shares of company stock valued at $7,665,158 in the last ninety days. 0.74% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of SO. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in Southern Company (The) by 2,961.9% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 62,067,822 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,089,736,000 after buying an additional 60,040,696 shares during the period. Ameriprise Financial Inc. boosted its position in Southern Company (The) by 205.4% in the first quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 8,803,018 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $438,168,000 after buying an additional 5,920,212 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in Southern Company (The) by 4.1% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 68,758,138 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,422,780,000 after buying an additional 2,688,854 shares during the period. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board boosted its position in Southern Company (The) by 876.2% in the first quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 1,074,910 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $53,509,000 after buying an additional 964,800 shares during the period. Finally, Swiss National Bank boosted its position in Southern Company (The) by 20.3% in the first quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 4,978,424 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $247,826,000 after buying an additional 841,100 shares during the period. 53.57% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Southern Company (The)

The Southern Company (Southern Company) is a holding company. The Company owns all of the stock of the traditional electric operating companies and the parent entities of Southern Power Company (Southern Power) and Southern Company Gas, and owns other direct and indirect subsidiaries. The Company’s segments include Gas distribution operations, Gas marketing services, Wholesale gas services, Gas midstream operations and All other.

Earnings History and Estimates for Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO)

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