Southern (SO) Rating Reiterated by SunTrust Banks

Southern (NYSE:SO)‘s stock had its “hold” rating reaffirmed by stock analysts at SunTrust Banks in a research note issued to investors on Thursday. They currently have a $48.00 price objective on the utilities provider’s stock. SunTrust Banks’ price target indicates a potential upside of 2.54% from the company’s current price.

SO has been the topic of several other reports. Bank of America raised Southern from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $46.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, October 10th. Scotiabank reissued a “sector perform” rating on shares of Southern in a research report on Tuesday, July 24th. Credit Suisse Group lowered Southern from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating and cut their price objective for the company from $46.00 to $43.00 in a research report on Thursday, August 9th. Evercore ISI lowered Southern from an “in-line” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 9th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered Southern from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 9th. Six analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $45.96.

NYSE:SO traded up $0.23 during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $46.81. The company had a trading volume of 6,378,346 shares, compared to its average volume of 6,203,639. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.59, a current ratio of 0.81 and a quick ratio of 0.68. Southern has a 1 year low of $42.38 and a 1 year high of $52.65. The firm has a market capitalization of $47.67 billion, a PE ratio of 15.50, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.46 and a beta of -0.09.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 7th. The utilities provider reported $1.14 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.07 by $0.07. Southern had a return on equity of 13.19% and a net margin of 10.35%. The company had revenue of $6.70 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $6.68 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.12 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 8.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts anticipate that Southern will post 3.02 EPS for the current year.

In other news, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 16,371 shares of Southern stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 16th. The stock was 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 $481,821. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 0.73% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in Southern by 1.4% in the third quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 65,377,083 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,850,440,000 after purchasing an additional 878,787 shares in the last quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA grew its stake in Southern by 5.1% in the third quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 18,224,108 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $794,571,000 after purchasing an additional 881,373 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its stake in Southern by 1.9% in the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 10,620,343 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $463,048,000 after purchasing an additional 193,771 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC grew its stake in Southern by 28.2% in the third quarter. FMR LLC now owns 8,617,581 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $375,726,000 after purchasing an additional 1,896,970 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Commonwealth Bank of Australia grew its stake in Southern by 16.1% in the second quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia now owns 8,334,190 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $385,555,000 after purchasing an additional 1,156,583 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 57.42% 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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Analyst Recommendations for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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