The Southern Company (NYSE:SO – Get Rating) – Research analysts at Zacks Research decreased their Q3 2023 earnings per share (EPS) estimates for shares of Southern in a note issued to investors on Thursday, May 11th. Zacks Research analyst N. Choudhury now anticipates that the utilities provider will earn $1.47 per share for the quarter, down from their previous forecast of $1.50. The consensus estimate for Southern’s current full-year earnings is $3.61 per share. Zacks Research also issued estimates for Southern’s FY2023 earnings at $3.58 EPS, Q1 2024 earnings at $0.94 EPS, Q2 2024 earnings at $0.91 EPS, Q4 2024 earnings at $0.81 EPS, FY2024 earnings at $3.98 EPS, Q1 2025 earnings at $1.02 EPS and FY2025 earnings at $4.26 EPS.
Other equities analysts have also issued reports about the company. StockNews.com lowered Southern from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 9th. Morgan Stanley increased their price target on shares of Southern from $57.00 to $63.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a report on Thursday, April 20th. 1-800-FLOWERS.COM reiterated a “maintains” rating on shares of Southern in a report on Friday, April 28th. Guggenheim boosted their target price on shares of Southern from $73.00 to $79.00 in a research report on Monday, April 24th. Finally, VNET Group reaffirmed a “maintains” rating on shares of Southern in a report on Friday, April 28th. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to MarketBeat, the company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $73.14.
Southern Stock Down 1.7 %
Southern (NYSE:SO – Get Rating) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 27th. The utilities provider reported $0.79 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.71 by $0.08. The business had revenue of $6.48 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $6.14 billion. Southern had a return on equity of 10.78% and a net margin of 11.53%. The business’s revenue was down 2.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.97 earnings per share.
Southern Increases Dividend
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, June 6th. Investors of record on Monday, May 15th will be given a dividend of $0.70 per share. This represents a $2.80 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.82%. This is a positive change from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.68. The ex-dividend date is Friday, May 12th. Southern’s payout ratio is presently 90.32%.
Insiders Place Their Bets
In other Southern news, EVP Christopher Cummiskey sold 1,282 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, February 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $66.60, for a total value of $85,381.20. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 27,512 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,832,299.20. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. In other news, EVP Christopher Cummiskey sold 1,282 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $66.60, for a total value of $85,381.20. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 27,512 shares in the company, valued at $1,832,299.20. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $71.89, for a total value of $359,450.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 146,284 shares in the company, valued at approximately $10,516,356.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 93,199 shares of company stock valued at $6,974,908 in the last three months. Insiders own 0.28% of the company’s stock.
Hedge Funds Weigh In On Southern
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of SO. Bell Investment Advisors Inc lifted its stake in shares of Southern by 127.6% in the 4th quarter. Bell Investment Advisors Inc now owns 421 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $30,000 after purchasing an additional 236 shares during the period. Horizon Bancorp Inc. IN bought a new position in shares of Southern during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $30,000. MRP Capital Investments LLC bought a new position in Southern in the first quarter worth approximately $30,000. VitalStone Financial LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Southern during the 4th quarter valued at $34,000. Finally, Sanctuary Wealth Management L.L.C. purchased a new position in Southern in the 4th quarter worth $34,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 61.78% of the company’s stock.
The Southern Co is a holding company, which engages in the generation and sale of electricity. It operates through the following segments: Traditional Electric Operating Companies, Southern Power and Southern Company Gas. The Traditional Electric Operating Companies segment refers to vertically integrated utilities that own generation, transmission and distribution facilities, and supplies electric services in the states of Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Mississippi.
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