Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) has received a consensus rating of “Hold” from the seventeen brokerages that are currently covering the firm, MarketBeat.com reports. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. The average twelve-month price target among brokerages that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $49.40.

A number of equities analysts have recently issued reports on the company. Royal Bank Of Canada reissued a “hold” rating and set a $53.00 price target on shares of Southern Company (The) in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Guggenheim raised Southern Company (The) from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their price target for the stock from $49.00 to $56.00 in a research report on Thursday. J P Morgan Chase & Co assumed coverage on Southern Company (The) in a research report on Tuesday, August 8th. They set an “overweight” rating and a $16.78 price target on the stock. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “buy” rating and set a $56.00 price target (up previously from $55.00) on shares of Southern Company (The) in a research report on Tuesday, September 12th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group raised Southern Company (The) from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd.

In other Southern Company (The) news, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 75,144 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated 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 filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. 1.00% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. W. E. Donoghue & Co. LLC acquired a new stake in Southern Company (The) in the second quarter worth about $15,030,000. Intl Fcstone Inc. boosted its holdings in Southern Company (The) by 88.9% in the second quarter. Intl Fcstone Inc. now owns 19,622 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $939,000 after acquiring an additional 9,232 shares in the last quarter. Griffin Asset Management Inc. acquired a new stake in Southern Company (The) in the second quarter worth about $1,703,000. Aldebaran Financial Inc. boosted its holdings in Southern Company (The) by 6.3% in the second quarter. Aldebaran Financial Inc. now owns 18,429 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $882,000 after acquiring an additional 1,100 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Farmers National Bank boosted its holdings in Southern Company (The) by 1.7% in the second quarter. Farmers National Bank now owns 60,236 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,884,000 after acquiring an additional 1,029 shares in the last quarter. 53.27% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Southern Company (NYSE:SO) traded up 0.48% during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $50.64. 7,244,756 shares of the company traded hands. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $48.86 and its 200 day moving average price is $49.47. The firm has a market capitalization of $50.61 billion, a P/E ratio of 83.29 and a beta of 0.13. Southern Company has a 12-month low of $46.20 and a 12-month high of $53.73.

Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.73 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates 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 for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.23 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.74 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 21.7% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts predict that Southern Company will post $2.94 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, September 6th. Investors of record on Monday, August 21st were given a dividend of $0.58 per share. This represents a $2.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.58%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, August 17th. Southern Company (The)’s payout ratio is currently 346.27%.

Southern Company (The) Company Profile

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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