Southern (SO) Getting Somewhat Positive Media Coverage, Study Finds

Press coverage about Southern (NYSE:SO) has been trending somewhat positive this week, according to Accern Sentiment Analysis. Accern identifies positive and negative press coverage by reviewing more than 20 million blog and news sources in real time. Accern ranks coverage of public companies on a scale of -1 to 1, with scores nearest to one being the most favorable. Southern earned a media sentiment score of 0.11 on Accern’s scale. Accern also gave media stories about the utilities provider an impact score of 44.9485981538325 out of 100, indicating that recent press coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an impact on the company’s share price in the next several days.

Here are some of the news articles that may have impacted Accern Sentiment Analysis’s rankings:

Southern (NYSE:SO) traded down $0.46 during trading on Friday, hitting $44.44. 8,793,038 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 6,450,000. The company has a market cap of $44,600.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 79.36, a PEG ratio of 3.32 and a beta of 0.14. The company has a quick ratio of 0.57, a current ratio of 0.73 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.73. Southern has a 12-month low of $44.26 and a 12-month high of $53.51.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The utilities provider reported $1.12 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.08 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $6.20 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $6.16 billion. Southern had a net margin of 2.59% and a return on equity of 10.81%. The business’s revenue was down 1.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.27 EPS. equities analysts forecast that Southern will post 2.96 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, March 6th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, February 20th will be issued a $0.58 dividend. This represents a $2.32 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 5.22%. Southern’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 414.29%.

SO has been the subject of several research reports. Royal Bank of Canada upgraded shares of Southern from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $53.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Friday, September 29th. Citigroup reiterated a “sell” rating and set a $44.00 price objective (up previously from $43.00) on shares of Southern in a research report on Tuesday, October 3rd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $56.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, October 10th. SunTrust Banks reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $52.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a research report on Friday, October 20th. Finally, Bank of America reiterated an “underperform” rating and set a $51.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a research report on Tuesday, October 24th. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $51.07.

In other news, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 46,641 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.00, for a total value of $2,471,973.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 56,799 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,010,347. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Ann P. Daiss sold 5,080 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.28, for a total transaction of $270,662.40. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 7,474 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $398,214.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 98,662 shares of company stock valued at $5,207,038 in the last 90 days. Company insiders own 1.00% of the company’s stock.

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About Southern

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.

Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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