Southern Co. (NYSE:SO) had its target price increased by SunTrust Banks Inc. from $52.00 to $54.00 in a research report released on Monday morning. The brokerage currently has a neutral rating on the stock.
Other equities research analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. Jefferies Group reissued a hold rating on shares of Southern in a report on Thursday, August 4th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reissued a neutral rating and issued a $54.00 price target on shares of Southern in a report on Thursday, July 14th. Barclays PLC raised shares of Southern from an equal weight rating to an overweight rating and boosted their price target for the stock from $54.00 to $62.00 in a report on Thursday, July 14th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Mizuho boosted their price target on shares of Southern from $50.00 to $52.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a report on Tuesday, July 12th. Finally, Argus reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Southern in a report on Wednesday, June 15th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $53.50.
Shares of Southern (NYSE:SO) opened at 52.05 on Monday. The stock has a market capitalization of $49.01 billion, a PE ratio of 20.66 and a beta of 0.05. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $51.98 and a 200-day moving average of $51.41. Southern has a 52 week low of $43.38 and a 52 week high of $54.64.
Southern (NYSE:SO) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $0.74 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.70 by $0.04. The firm earned $4.45 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.54 billion. Southern had a net margin of 13.77% and a return on equity of 12.50%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 2.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.71 EPS. On average, equities research analysts expect that Southern will post $2.86 EPS for the current year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, September 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, August 15th were given a $0.56 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, August 11th. This represents a $2.24 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.30%. Southern’s payout ratio is currently 87.50%.
In other Southern news, CFO Art P. Beattie sold 123,207 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.12, for a total transaction of $6,667,962.84. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 75,141 shares in the company, valued at $4,066,630.92. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, COO Kimberly S. Greene sold 141,818 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.00, for a total transaction of $7,658,172.00. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now owns 177,686 shares in the company, valued at $9,595,044. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.00% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of SO. State Street Corp raised its stake in shares of Southern by 7.9% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 45,685,547 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,363,311,000 after buying an additional 3,331,298 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Southern by 5.6% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 60,379,260 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,238,139,000 after buying an additional 3,222,084 shares during the period. Capital International Investors raised its stake in shares of Southern by 517.2% in the second quarter. Capital International Investors now owns 3,225,300 shares of the company’s stock worth $172,973,000 after buying an additional 2,702,700 shares during the period. BlackRock Fund Advisors raised its stake in shares of Southern by 13.0% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 19,032,403 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,020,708,000 after buying an additional 2,194,490 shares during the period. Finally, Emerald Acquisition Ltd. acquired a new stake in shares of Southern during the second quarter worth about $90,503,000. Institutional investors own 48.64% of the company’s stock.
The Southern Company (Southern Company) is a holding company. The Company owns all of the stock of the traditional operating companies and Southern Power Company (Southern Power), and owns other direct and indirect subsidiaries. Southern Company’s segments include the sale of electricity by four traditional operating companies, Southern Power and All Other.
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