Southern (SO) Rating Lowered to Equal Weight at Barclays

Southern (NYSE:SO) was downgraded by stock analysts at Barclays from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating in a report issued on Thursday, The Fly reports. They presently have a $51.00 target price on the utilities provider’s stock. Barclays’ price objective points to a potential upside of 9.91% from the company’s current price.

Other equities analysts have also issued reports about the company. TheStreet upgraded Southern from a “c” rating to a “b-” rating in a research note on Monday, June 4th. Deutsche Bank dropped their target price on Southern from $49.00 to $48.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, May 22nd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Southern from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 1st. ValuEngine upgraded Southern from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, July 2nd. Finally, SunTrust Banks reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $50.00 target price on shares of Southern in a research note on Monday. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. Southern has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $48.28.

Southern stock traded down $0.48 during trading on Thursday, hitting $46.40. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 176,018 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,469,011. The firm has a market capitalization of $49.56 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.37, a PEG ratio of 3.74 and a beta of 0.04. Southern has a 1-year low of $42.38 and a 1-year high of $53.51. The company has a current ratio of 0.70, a quick ratio of 0.55 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.71.

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

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in SO. Franklin Resources Inc. increased 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 acquiring an additional 17,572,472 shares during the last quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA boosted its position in shares of Southern by 55.4% in 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 period. Federated Investors Inc. PA boosted its position in shares of Southern by 22.6% in 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 period. Natixis boosted its position in shares of Southern by 513.3% in 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 period. Finally, Integrated Investment Consultants LLC boosted its position in shares of Southern by 11,861.3% in 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 period. Institutional investors own 57.00% of the company’s stock.

Southern Company Profile

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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