Analysts’ Weekly Ratings Changes for Southern (SO)

A number of research firms have changed their ratings and price targets for Southern (NYSE: SO):

  • 2/12/2018 – Southern was given a new $46.00 price target on by analysts at SunTrust Banks, Inc.. They now have a “hold” rating on the stock.
  • 2/5/2018 – Southern was given a new $47.00 price target on by analysts at SunTrust Banks, Inc.. They now have a “hold” rating on the stock.
  • 2/2/2018 – Southern is now covered by analysts at UBS Group AG. They set a “neutral” rating and a $46.00 price target on the stock.
  • 2/2/2018 – Southern was downgraded by analysts at ValuEngine from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating.
  • 1/23/2018 – Southern was downgraded by analysts at Mizuho from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating. They now have a $44.50 price target on the stock.
  • 1/23/2018 – Southern was given a new $46.00 price target on by analysts at SunTrust Banks, Inc.. They now have a “hold” rating on the stock.
  • 1/17/2018 – Southern was given a new $47.00 price target on by analysts at SunTrust Banks, Inc.. They now have a “hold” rating on the stock.
  • 1/15/2018 – Southern was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating. According to Zacks, “Following continued timing and cost overrun issues over two large construction projects – Vogtle and Kemper – we are recalibrating our investment thesis on Southern Company to Sell from Hold. Despite Georgia PSC's nod for the construction of the half-finished Vogtle nuclear plant expansion in Georgia, doubts remain about the $20 billion initiative that has gone well over budget and is years behind schedule. Southern is also facing challenges to place its Kemper, Mississippi project in service, which suffered yet another setback with the suspension of all coal gasification operations amid additional cost burden. We believe the financial stress from these projects, together with Southern’s hefty expenses to comply with environmental controls/regulations will cause an underperformance in the utility's shares relative to the market as well as the sector in the coming quarters.”
  • 1/12/2018 – Southern is now covered by analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co.. They set an “underweight” rating and a $46.00 price target on the stock.
  • 1/10/2018 – Southern had its “sell” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
  • 1/3/2018 – Southern was given a new $49.00 price target on by analysts at SunTrust Banks, Inc.. They now have a “hold” rating on the stock.
  • 1/3/2018 – Southern had its “buy” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Guggenheim. They now have a $52.00 price target on the stock.
  • 12/27/2017 – Southern was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating. According to Zacks, “SO is one of the largest and best-managed electric utility holding companies in the U.S. with good rate base growth and constructive regulation. We expect it to generate steady earnings and dividend growth in the coming years through its long-term power contracts. Additionally, the utility's $12 billion AGL Resources has significantly increased its customer base and diversified its offerings. Further, the company’s Vogtle Project also received approval from Georgia PSC. However, the decision to continue with the project may increase the credit risk of the company. As it is , the cost overrun issues over its Vogtle and Kemper projects continue to weigh on SO’s already weak financials. High leverage of over 60% poses major roadblock in the growth of the company. Thus we take a cautious stance on the prospects of the stock.”
  • 12/26/2017 – Southern had its “hold” rating reaffirmed by analysts at SunTrust Banks, Inc.. They now have a $50.00 price target on the stock.
  • 12/26/2017 – Southern had its “buy” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Mizuho. They now have a $52.00 price target on the stock.
  • 12/22/2017 – Southern had its “buy” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Royal Bank of Canada.

Southern Co (NYSE:SO) traded up $0.09 during trading hours on Monday, hitting $44.42. The stock had a trading volume of 2,843,881 shares, compared to its average volume of 8,339,107. The stock has a market capitalization of $44,490.83, a price-to-earnings ratio of 79.32, a PEG ratio of 3.29 and a beta of 0.03. Southern Co has a 52-week low of $42.63 and a 52-week high of $53.51. 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 also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, March 6th. Investors of record on Tuesday, February 20th will be paid a $0.58 dividend. This represents a $2.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.22%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, February 16th. Southern’s payout ratio is 414.29%.

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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