Southern Co (NYSE:SO) announced a quarterly dividend on Friday, January 19th, RTT News reports. Investors of record on Tuesday, February 20th will be given a dividend of 0.58 per share by the utilities provider on Tuesday, March 6th. This represents a $2.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 5.22%.
Southern has increased its dividend by an average of 3.4% annually over the last three years and has increased its dividend annually for the last 16 consecutive years. Southern has a payout ratio of 78.4% meaning its dividend is currently covered by earnings, but may not be in the future if the company’s earnings decline. Analysts expect Southern to earn $3.00 per share next year, which means the company should continue to be able to cover its $2.32 annual dividend with an expected future payout ratio of 77.3%.
Shares of Southern (NYSE SO) traded down $0.46 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $44.44. 8,739,988 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 7,622,441. Southern has a 1 year low of $44.26 and a 1 year high of $53.51. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.73, a current ratio of 0.73 and a quick ratio of 0.57. The company has a market capitalization of $44,590.00, a P/E ratio of 79.36, a PEG ratio of 3.34 and a beta of 0.14.
Several research analysts recently commented on SO shares. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, October 13th. SunTrust Banks reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $50.00 price target on shares of Southern in a research note on Tuesday, December 26th. Mizuho reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $52.00 price target on shares of Southern in a research note on Tuesday, December 26th. Goldman Sachs Group reiterated a “sell” rating on shares of Southern in a research note on Wednesday, January 10th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. assumed coverage on shares of Southern in a research note on Friday, January 12th. They issued an “underweight” rating and a $46.00 price target for the company. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Southern has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $51.07.
In other Southern news, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 46,641 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated 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 transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 56,799 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,010,347. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, insider Ann P. Daiss sold 5,080 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.28, for a total transaction of $270,662.40. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 7,474 shares in the company, valued at $398,214.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 98,662 shares of company stock worth $5,207,038. 1.00% of the stock is owned by insiders.
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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.
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