Southern (SO) Issues Quarterly Earnings Results

Southern (NYSE:SO) posted its earnings results on Wednesday. The utilities provider reported $1.14 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.07 by $0.07, MarketWatch Earnings reports. Southern had a net margin of 9.96% and a return on equity of 13.06%. The firm had revenue of $6.70 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $6.68 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.12 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.0% on a year-over-year basis.

Shares of Southern stock traded up $1.29 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $46.96. 488,187 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 6,184,529. Southern has a twelve month low of $42.38 and a twelve month high of $52.65. The stock has a market capitalization of $45.37 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.51, a P/E/G ratio of 3.31 and a beta of -0.09. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.59, a current ratio of 0.81 and a quick ratio of 0.68.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, November 19th will be paid a dividend of $0.60 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, November 16th. This represents a $2.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 5.11%. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is currently 79.47%.

In other Southern news, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 16,371 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.40, for a total transaction of $775,985.40. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 10,165 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $481,821. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 0.73% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Edgestream Partners L.P. boosted its position in shares of Southern by 24.2% in the third quarter. Edgestream Partners L.P. now owns 59,020 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,573,000 after acquiring an additional 11,483 shares during the last quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank boosted its position in shares of Southern by 38.0% in the third quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 933,730 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $40,704,000 after acquiring an additional 256,996 shares during the last quarter. Forsta AP Fonden boosted its position in shares of Southern by 8.7% in the third quarter. Forsta AP Fonden now owns 362,585 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $15,809,000 after acquiring an additional 28,900 shares during the last quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. boosted its position in shares of Southern by 2.1% in the third quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. now owns 3,431,841 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $149,628,000 after acquiring an additional 71,040 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Strategic Wealth Advisors Group LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Southern in the third quarter worth approximately $1,634,000. 57.42% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Several research firms have weighed in on SO. UBS Group raised their target price on shares of Southern from $46.00 to $47.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Monday, October 29th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Southern from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, October 19th. Bank of America upgraded shares of Southern from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $46.00 target price for the company in a report on Wednesday, October 10th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $49.00 target price for the company in a report on Tuesday, October 9th. Finally, Morgan Stanley decreased their price target on shares of Southern from $45.00 to $44.00 and set a “sell” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, September 21st. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $46.11.

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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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Earnings History for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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