Shares of Southern Co (NYSE:SO) have been given a consensus recommendation of “Hold” by the twenty-one analysts that are presently covering the company, MarketBeat.com reports. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company. The average twelve-month price target among brokerages that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $49.27.
A number of equities research analysts have recently commented on SO shares. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Southern from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, January 15th. SunTrust Banks set a $46.00 price target on shares of Southern and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Monday. Mizuho downgraded shares of Southern from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $44.50 target price for the company. in a report on Tuesday, January 23rd. Royal Bank of Canada restated a “buy” rating on shares of Southern in a report on Friday, December 22nd. Finally, UBS Group initiated coverage on shares of Southern in a report on Friday, February 2nd. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $46.00 target price for the company.
A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Quantitative Investment Management LLC purchased a new stake in Southern during the fourth quarter worth approximately $26,079,000. Ariel Investments LLC grew its stake in Southern by 2.6% during the fourth quarter. Ariel Investments LLC now owns 884,757 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $42,548,000 after buying an additional 22,511 shares during the period. Nomura Asset Management Co. Ltd. grew its stake in Southern by 3.4% during the fourth quarter. Nomura Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 269,540 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $12,962,000 after buying an additional 8,920 shares during the period. MANA Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in Southern during the fourth quarter worth approximately $659,000. Finally, Merit Financial Group LLC purchased a new stake in Southern during the fourth quarter worth approximately $551,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 53.72% of the company’s stock.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, March 6th. Investors of record on Tuesday, February 20th will be issued a $0.58 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, February 16th. This represents a $2.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.25%. Southern’s payout ratio is 414.29%.
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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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