Morgan Stanley Cuts Southern (NYSE:SO) Price Target to $66.00

Southern (NYSE:SOGet Rating) had its target price lowered by Morgan Stanley from $67.00 to $66.00 in a research report issued on Monday, Stock Target Advisor reports. The firm presently has an “underweight” rating on the utilities provider’s stock. Morgan Stanley’s target price would suggest a potential downside of 11.25% from the company’s previous close.

Several other research firms have also recently issued reports on SO. Wells Fargo & Company raised their price target on Southern from $68.00 to $80.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 19th. StockNews.com started coverage on shares of Southern in a research note on Thursday, March 31st. They set a “hold” rating for the company. Mizuho lifted their target price on shares of Southern from $67.00 to $76.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, April 21st. Bank of America lowered Southern from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and reduced their price target for the stock from $75.00 to $71.00 in a research report on Monday, February 7th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group initiated coverage on Southern in a research note on Monday, April 25th. They issued an “underperform” rating and a $77.00 target price on the stock. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. According to MarketBeat, the company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $73.63.

Shares of NYSE:SO traded up $0.96 during midday trading on Monday, reaching $74.37. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 45,996 shares, compared to its average volume of 5,869,320. The business’s fifty day simple moving average is $73.28 and its 200-day simple moving average is $68.52. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.55, a current ratio of 0.89 and a quick ratio of 0.70. Southern has a fifty-two week low of $60.12 and a fifty-two week high of $77.24. The company has a market capitalization of $79.02 billion, a P/E ratio of 34.43, a P/E/G ratio of 5.14 and a beta of 0.48.

Southern (NYSE:SOGet Rating) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, April 28th. The utilities provider reported $0.97 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.91 by $0.06. Southern had a net margin of 10.09% and a return on equity of 11.35%. The company had revenue of $6.60 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.93 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.98 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 11.7% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that Southern will post 3.56 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, EVP Christopher Cummiskey sold 909 shares of Southern stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, February 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $63.61, for a total transaction of $57,821.49. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Kimberly S. Greene sold 100,005 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.05, for a total transaction of $7,005,350.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 338,896 shares of company stock worth $24,354,786 over the last ninety days. 0.43% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Landmark Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Southern during the first quarter worth about $25,000. IndexIQ Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Southern during the first quarter worth $25,000. Arlington Partners LLC bought a new stake in Southern during the fourth quarter valued at $27,000. First Community Trust NA bought a new stake in Southern in the fourth quarter worth approximately $27,000. Finally, Cassady Schiller Wealth Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Southern during the 4th quarter worth about $28,000. 60.58% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Southern Company Profile (Get Rating)

The Southern Company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. It operates through Gas Distribution Operations, Gas Pipeline Investments, Wholesale Gas Services, and Gas Marketing Services segments. The company also develops, constructs, acquires, owns, and manages power generation assets, including renewable energy projects and sells electricity in the wholesale market; and distributes natural gas in Illinois, Georgia, Virginia, and Tennessee, as well as provides gas marketing services, wholesale gas services, and gas pipeline investments operations.

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