Southern (NYSE:SO) Price Target Increased to $64.00 by Analysts at Morgan Stanley

Southern (NYSE:SOGet Rating) had its target price boosted by Morgan Stanley from $63.00 to $64.00 in a research report report published on Monday morning, Benzinga reports. The firm currently has an underweight rating on the utilities provider’s stock.

Several other research analysts have also issued reports on the company. UBS Group cut their price target on Southern to $80.00 in a report on Monday, November 21st. Bank Of America (Bofa) downgraded Southern to an underperform rating in a research report on Monday, October 24th. Credit Suisse Group raised their target price on Southern from $60.00 to $70.00 and gave the stock an underperform rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 18th. Guggenheim reduced their price target on Southern from $80.00 to $69.00 in a research report on Monday, October 24th. Finally, StockNews.com began coverage on Southern in a research report on Wednesday, October 12th. They issued a hold rating for the company. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $72.15.

Southern Price Performance

Shares of SO opened at $66.86 on Monday. The stock has a market cap of $72.79 billion, a PE ratio of 21.16, a PEG ratio of 4.50 and a beta of 0.48. The business has a 50-day simple moving average of $69.09 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $71.20. The company has a quick ratio of 0.64, a current ratio of 0.81 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.42. Southern has a 12-month low of $60.71 and a 12-month high of $80.57.

Southern (NYSE:SOGet Rating) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, October 27th. The utilities provider reported $1.31 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.33 by ($0.02). Southern had a net margin of 12.52% and a return on equity of 12.21%. The business had revenue of $8.38 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $6.75 billion. Analysts anticipate that Southern will post 3.59 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Southern Announces Dividend

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, March 6th. Investors of record on Tuesday, February 21st will be given a $0.68 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, February 17th. This represents a $2.72 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.07%. Southern’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 86.08%.

Insider Activity

In other Southern news, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 14,546 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, January 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.95, for a total value of $1,032,038.70. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 120,786 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,569,766.70. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. In other news, EVP Martin Bernard Davis sold 1,475 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, December 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $68.35, for a total transaction of $100,816.25. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 38,441 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,627,442.35. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 14,546 shares of Southern stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, January 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.95, for a total transaction of $1,032,038.70. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 120,786 shares in the company, valued at $8,569,766.70. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 19,071 shares of company stock valued at $1,333,545 in the last ninety days. 0.37% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Hedge Funds Weigh In On Southern

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. SignalPoint Asset Management LLC boosted its holdings in Southern by 1.0% during the second quarter. SignalPoint Asset Management LLC now owns 14,533 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,036,000 after buying an additional 144 shares during the last quarter. Pinnacle Associates Ltd. lifted its holdings in shares of Southern by 0.4% during the 2nd quarter. Pinnacle Associates Ltd. now owns 38,101 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,717,000 after purchasing an additional 144 shares in the last quarter. Burns J W & Co. Inc. NY lifted its holdings in shares of Southern by 0.7% during the 4th quarter. Burns J W & Co. Inc. NY now owns 21,982 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,570,000 after purchasing an additional 145 shares in the last quarter. LCM Capital Management Inc lifted its holdings in shares of Southern by 3.7% during the 2nd quarter. LCM Capital Management Inc now owns 4,137 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $295,000 after purchasing an additional 148 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Murphy Middleton Hinkle & Parker Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Southern by 0.4% during the 4th quarter. Murphy Middleton Hinkle & Parker Inc. now owns 38,605 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,757,000 after purchasing an additional 151 shares in the last quarter. 61.78% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other 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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Analyst Recommendations for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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