Evercore ISI Downgrades Southern (SO) to Underperform

Southern (NYSE:SO) was downgraded by equities research analysts at Evercore ISI to an “underperform” rating in a report issued on Thursday, The Fly reports.

Several other research firms have also issued reports on SO. Deutsche Bank lowered shares of Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $48.00 price target for the company. in a research report on Tuesday, June 26th. ValuEngine raised shares of Southern from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, July 2nd. Howard Weil started coverage on shares of Southern in a research report on Tuesday, July 24th. They issued a “sector perform” rating and a $45.00 price target for the company. Barclays lowered shares of Southern from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and set a $51.00 price target for the company. in a research report on Thursday. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Southern from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 1st. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Southern has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $48.53.

Shares of Southern opened at $46.88 on Thursday, according to MarketBeat Ratings. The stock has a market cap of $49.56 billion, a PE ratio of 15.52, a P/E/G ratio of 3.74 and a beta of 0.04. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.71, a current ratio of 0.70 and a quick ratio of 0.55. Southern has a 52 week low of $42.38 and a 52 week high of $53.51.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 8th. The utilities provider reported $0.80 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.69 by $0.11. Southern had a net margin of 4.88% and a return on equity of 12.97%. The firm had revenue of $5.63 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.28 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.73 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 3.6% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts predict that Southern will post 2.91 EPS for the current year.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of SO. Franklin Resources Inc. grew its stake in Southern by 82.2% during the first quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 38,962,463 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,740,063,000 after buying an additional 17,572,472 shares during the last quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA grew its stake in Southern by 55.4% during the first quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 14,790,707 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $660,554,000 after buying an additional 5,270,905 shares during the last quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA grew its stake in Southern by 22.6% during the first quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 9,318,556 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $416,167,000 after buying an additional 1,717,553 shares during the last quarter. Natixis grew its stake in Southern by 513.3% during the first quarter. Natixis now owns 807,328 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $36,055,000 after buying an additional 675,685 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Integrated Investment Consultants LLC grew its stake in Southern by 11,861.3% during the second quarter. Integrated Investment Consultants LLC now owns 543,759 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $750,000 after buying an additional 539,213 shares during the last quarter. 57.00% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Southern

The Southern Company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. The company also constructs, acquires, owns, and manages power generation assets, including renewable energy facilities and sells electricity in the wholesale market; and distributes natural gas in Illinois, Georgia, Virginia, New Jersey, Florida, Tennessee, and Maryland, as well as provides gas marketing services, wholesale gas services, and gas midstream operations.

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