Shares of Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) have been given an average recommendation of “Hold” by the eighteen research firms that are covering the stock, Marketbeat.com reports. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating on the company. The average 12-month target price among brokers that have covered the stock in the last year is $49.44.

Several equities analysts have commented on the stock. Guggenheim raised shares of Southern from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their target price for the stock from $49.00 to $56.00 in a research report on Thursday, September 14th. Citigroup reissued a “sell” rating and set a $44.00 target price (up previously from $43.00) on shares of Southern in a research report on Tuesday, October 3rd. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, October 13th. Mizuho raised shares of Southern from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $53.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, September 5th. Finally, BidaskClub cut shares of Southern from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 10th.

Southern (NYSE SO) traded down $0.10 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $51.11. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 4,710,000 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,110,000. The firm has a market cap of $51,300.00, a P/E ratio of 18.72, a P/E/G ratio of 4.65 and a beta of 0.15. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.73, a current ratio of 0.73 and a quick ratio of 0.57. Southern has a fifty-two week low of $46.20 and a fifty-two week high of $53.51.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The utilities provider reported $1.12 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.08 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $6.20 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $6.16 billion. Southern had a return on equity of 10.81% and a net margin of 2.59%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 1.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.27 EPS. equities research analysts expect that Southern will post 2.95 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, December 6th. Investors of record on Monday, November 20th will be issued a $0.58 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 17th. This represents a $2.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.54%. Southern’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 414.29%.

In related news, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 46,641 shares of Southern stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.00, for a total value of $2,471,973.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 56,799 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,010,347. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CEO William P. Bowers sold 85,151 shares of Southern stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.00, for a total transaction of $4,257,550.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 213,813 shares of company stock worth $11,029,988 in the last ninety days. 0.74% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in SO. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC purchased a new position in shares of Southern during the 2nd quarter valued at $100,000. Farmers & Merchants Trust Co of Chambersburg PA purchased a new position in shares of Southern during the 3rd quarter valued at $105,000. Monroe Bank & Trust MI grew its position in shares of Southern by 17.9% during the 2nd quarter. Monroe Bank & Trust MI now owns 2,300 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $110,000 after purchasing an additional 350 shares in the last quarter. AlphaMark Advisors LLC grew its position in shares of Southern by 0.6% during the 2nd quarter. AlphaMark Advisors LLC now owns 2,363 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $113,000 after purchasing an additional 14 shares in the last quarter. Finally, IHT Wealth Management LLC grew its position in shares of Southern by 15.3% during the 1st quarter. IHT Wealth Management LLC now owns 2,281 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $115,000 after purchasing an additional 302 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 53.78% of the company’s stock.

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Southern 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 (NYSE:SO)

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