Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) was upgraded by equities researchers at Guggenheim from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Thursday, MarketBeat Ratings reports. The firm currently has a $56.00 price objective on the utilities provider’s stock, up from their previous price objective of $49.00. Guggenheim’s target price points to a potential upside of 10.58% from the stock’s previous close.

Several other equities research analysts have also recently commented on the company. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $56.00 target price (up previously from $55.00) on shares of Southern Company (The) in a research note on Tuesday. Zacks Investment Research cut Southern Company (The) from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, September 11th. Mizuho raised Southern Company (The) from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $53.00 target price for the company in a research note on Tuesday, September 5th. KeyCorp reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Southern Company (The) in a research note on Friday, September 1st. Finally, BidaskClub raised Southern Company (The) from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 22nd. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $49.63.

Southern Company (SO) traded up 0.48% during trading on Thursday, hitting $50.64. The stock had a trading volume of 7,244,756 shares. The firm has a market capitalization of $50.61 billion, a P/E ratio of 83.29 and a beta of 0.13. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $48.86 and a 200 day moving average of $49.47. Southern Company has a one year low of $46.20 and a one year high of $53.73.

Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.73 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.71 by $0.02. Southern Company (The) had a return on equity of 11.30% and a net margin of 2.93%. The business had revenue of $5.43 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.23 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.74 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 21.7% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts expect that Southern Company will post $2.94 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other Southern Company (The) news, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 75,144 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $49.29, for a total value 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 sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Company insiders own 1.00% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. W. E. Donoghue & Co. LLC bought a new position in shares of Southern Company (The) in the second quarter valued at approximately $15,030,000. Intl Fcstone Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Southern Company (The) by 88.9% in the second quarter. Intl Fcstone Inc. now owns 19,622 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $939,000 after purchasing an additional 9,232 shares in the last quarter. Griffin Asset Management Inc. bought a new position in shares of Southern Company (The) in the second quarter valued at approximately $1,703,000. Aldebaran Financial Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Southern Company (The) by 6.3% in the second quarter. Aldebaran Financial Inc. now owns 18,429 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $882,000 after purchasing an additional 1,100 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Farmers National Bank lifted its holdings in shares of Southern Company (The) by 1.7% in the second quarter. Farmers National Bank now owns 60,236 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,884,000 after purchasing an additional 1,029 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 53.27% of the company’s stock.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO)

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