Southern Co (SO) Receives Consensus Recommendation of “Hold” from Analysts

Southern Co (NYSE:SO) has earned a consensus recommendation of “Hold” from the nineteen ratings firms that are presently covering the company, MarketBeat.com reports. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, six have assigned a hold recommendation and seven have given a buy recommendation to the company. The average 1 year price objective among brokerages that have covered the stock in the last year is $50.75.

Several analysts recently weighed in on SO shares. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Southern from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, November 3rd. Bank of America reaffirmed an “underperform” rating and issued a $51.00 target price on shares of Southern in a report on Tuesday, October 24th. Goldman Sachs Group reaffirmed a “sell” rating on shares of Southern in a report on Wednesday, January 10th. SunTrust Banks reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $52.00 target price on shares of Southern in a report on Friday, October 20th. Finally, Mizuho reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $55.00 target price on shares of Southern in a report on Friday, December 8th.

In other news, insider Art P. Beattie sold 46,941 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, October 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.50, for a total transaction of $2,464,402.50. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 59,494 shares in the company, valued at $3,123,435. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 46,641 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.00, for a total transaction of $2,471,973.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 56,799 shares in the company, valued at $3,010,347. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 98,662 shares of company stock worth $5,207,038 over the last quarter. 1.00% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC purchased a new position in shares of Southern during the second quarter worth approximately $100,000. Farmers & Merchants Trust Co of Chambersburg PA purchased a new position in shares of Southern during the third quarter worth approximately $105,000. Monroe Bank & Trust MI grew its position in shares of Southern by 17.9% during the second quarter. Monroe Bank & Trust MI now owns 2,300 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $110,000 after acquiring an additional 350 shares during the last quarter. AlphaMark Advisors LLC grew its position in shares of Southern by 0.6% during the second quarter. AlphaMark Advisors LLC now owns 2,363 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $113,000 after acquiring an additional 14 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Fieldpoint Private Securities LLC purchased a new position in shares of Southern during the third quarter worth approximately $118,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 53.68% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Southern (NYSE:SO) traded down $0.46 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $44.44. 8,808,202 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 6,450,000. The firm has a market capitalization of $44,600.00, a PE ratio of 79.36, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.32 and a beta of 0.14. Southern has a 52-week low of $44.26 and a 52-week high of $53.51. The company has a current ratio of 0.73, a quick ratio of 0.57 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.73.

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

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, March 6th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, February 20th will be paid a $0.58 dividend. This represents a $2.32 annualized dividend and a yield of 5.22%. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is currently 414.29%.

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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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