Southern (SO) Given New $46.00 Price Target at Credit Suisse Group

Southern (NYSE:SO) had its target price lifted by Credit Suisse Group from $44.00 to $46.00 in a research note published on Thursday morning. Credit Suisse Group currently has an underperform rating on the utilities provider’s stock.

A number of other analysts also recently issued reports on SO. Citigroup downgraded Southern from a neutral rating to a sell rating and set a $45.00 price objective for the company. in a research report on Wednesday, August 8th. Guggenheim downgraded Southern from a buy rating to a neutral rating and cut their price objective for the stock from $50.00 to $47.00 in a research report on Wednesday, August 8th. Scotiabank reissued a hold rating and set a $44.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a research report on Thursday, August 9th. Barclays downgraded Southern from an overweight rating to an equal weight rating and cut their price objective for the stock from $51.00 to $48.00 in a research report on Thursday, August 9th. Finally, Evercore ISI downgraded Southern from an in-line rating to an underperform rating in a research report on Thursday, August 9th. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $46.54.

Shares of NYSE:SO traded up $0.94 during midday trading on Thursday, reaching $47.46. 286,879 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 5,354,568. The company has a current ratio of 0.72, a quick ratio of 0.58 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.48. The company has a market capitalization of $48.60 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.62, a PEG ratio of 3.46 and a beta of -0.07. Southern has a fifty-two week low of $42.38 and a fifty-two week high of $52.00.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 7th. The utilities provider reported $1.14 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.07 by $0.07. The firm had revenue of $6.70 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $6.68 billion. Southern had a return on equity of 12.88% and a net margin of 10.35%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 8.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.12 EPS. As a group, equities research analysts predict that Southern will post 3.03 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, December 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, November 19th were given a $0.60 dividend. This represents a $2.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 5.06%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, November 16th. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is currently 79.47%.

In other news, CEO Kimberly S. Greene sold 15,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.03, for a total transaction of $705,450.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 9,380 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $441,141.40. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Mark Lantrip sold 9,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, December 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.58, for a total value of $428,220.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.73% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. CIBC World Markets Inc. lifted its stake in Southern by 1.0% during the third quarter. CIBC World Markets Inc. now owns 106,867 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $4,659,000 after purchasing an additional 1,071 shares during the last quarter. Andra AP fonden lifted its stake in Southern by 2.1% during the second quarter. Andra AP fonden now owns 52,500 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,431,000 after purchasing an additional 1,100 shares during the last quarter. Prime Capital Investment Advisors LLC lifted its stake in Southern by 10.6% during the third quarter. Prime Capital Investment Advisors LLC now owns 11,597 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $506,000 after purchasing an additional 1,107 shares during the last quarter. Summit Asset Management LLC lifted its stake in Southern by 15.1% during the third quarter. Summit Asset Management LLC now owns 8,868 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $387,000 after purchasing an additional 1,165 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Evercore Wealth Management LLC lifted its stake in Southern by 5.2% during the third quarter. Evercore Wealth Management LLC now owns 23,691 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,033,000 after purchasing an additional 1,171 shares during the last quarter. 56.58% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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