Southern’s (SO) Buy Rating Reiterated at Guggenheim

Southern (NYSE:SO)‘s stock had its “buy” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Guggenheim in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday. They currently have a $52.00 price target on the utilities provider’s stock. Guggenheim’s price objective points to a potential upside of 10.24% from the stock’s current price.

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research cut Southern from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, September 11th. Mizuho raised Southern from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $53.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Tuesday, September 5th. Finally, SunTrust Banks reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $50.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a research note on Tuesday, December 26th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. Southern currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $49.32.

Southern (NYSE:SO) traded down $0.92 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $47.17. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 7,278,800 shares, compared to its average volume of 5,455,800. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.73, a quick ratio of 0.57 and a current ratio of 0.73. The firm has a market capitalization of $47,110.00, a PE ratio of 84.23, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.55 and a beta of 0.14. Southern has a one year low of $46.71 and a one year high of $53.51.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The utilities provider reported $1.12 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.08 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $6.20 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $6.16 billion. Southern had a return on equity of 10.81% and a net margin of 2.59%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.27 earnings per share. analysts predict that Southern will post 2.96 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CEO William P. Bowers sold 85,151 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, October 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $50.00, for a total transaction of $4,257,550.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Ann P. Daiss sold 5,080 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, November 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.28, for a total value of $270,662.40. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 7,474 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $398,214.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 213,813 shares of company stock valued at $11,029,988 over the last three months. 0.74% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its holdings in Southern by 3.3% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 71,053,604 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,402,047,000 after buying an additional 2,295,466 shares during the last quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. lifted its holdings in Southern by 3.6% during the 2nd quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 22,379,839 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,071,547,000 after buying an additional 770,413 shares during the last quarter. Capital Research Global Investors lifted its holdings in Southern by 25.3% during the 2nd quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 14,940,226 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $715,338,000 after buying an additional 3,015,226 shares during the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. lifted its holdings in Southern by 3.9% during the 3rd quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 9,378,775 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $460,666,000 after buying an additional 352,722 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Legal & General Group Plc lifted its holdings in Southern by 4.2% during the 3rd quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 7,292,675 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $358,339,000 after buying an additional 291,409 shares during the last quarter. 53.66% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Southern

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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