Southern (SO) Stock Rating Lowered by Guggenheim

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Guggenheim cut shares of Southern (NYSE:SO) from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a research report report published on Wednesday, MarketBeat Ratings reports. They currently have $47.00 price target on the utilities provider’s stock, down from their previous price target of $50.00.

Several other research firms have also recently weighed in on SO. SunTrust Banks restated a hold rating and issued a $50.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a research report on Monday, August 6th. Morgan Stanley boosted their price objective on shares of Southern from $42.00 to $45.00 and gave the stock an underweight rating in a research report on Monday, July 16th. Howard Weil began coverage on shares of Southern in a research report on Tuesday, July 24th. They issued a sector perform rating and a $45.00 price objective for the company. Citigroup cut shares of 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. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded shares of Southern from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Monday, July 2nd. Eight investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $47.97.

Shares of Southern traded down $0.68, reaching $46.13, during trading on Wednesday, MarketBeat Ratings reports. The stock had a trading volume of 6,839,971 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,581,545. Southern has a 52 week low of $42.38 and a 52 week high of $53.51. The company has a current ratio of 0.81, a quick ratio of 0.55 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.59. The stock has a market capitalization of $47.47 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.14, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.53 and a beta of 0.04.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, August 8th. The utilities provider reported $0.80 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.69 by $0.11. Southern had a net margin of 9.96% and a return on equity of 13.06%. The company had revenue of $5.63 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.28 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.73 earnings per share. Southern’s quarterly revenue was up 3.6% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts forecast that Southern will post 2.97 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, August 20th will be issued a dividend of $0.60 per share. This represents a $2.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.20%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, August 17th. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is presently 79.47%.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in SO. Sciencast Management LP grew its holdings in shares of Southern by 34.0% in the 1st quarter. Sciencast Management LP now owns 13,412 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $615,000 after buying an additional 3,400 shares during the period. Summit Trail Advisors LLC grew its holdings in shares of Southern by 2,614.7% in the 1st quarter. Summit Trail Advisors LLC now owns 226,789 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $227,000 after buying an additional 218,435 shares during the period. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC grew its holdings in shares of Southern by 5.4% in the 2nd quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 186,418 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $8,634,000 after buying an additional 9,525 shares during the period. Tokio Marine Asset Management Co. Ltd. grew its holdings in shares of Southern by 12.3% in the 2nd quarter. Tokio Marine Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 20,092 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $930,000 after buying an additional 2,196 shares during the period. Finally, Willis Investment Counsel grew its holdings in shares of Southern by 0.6% in the 1st quarter. Willis Investment Counsel now owns 199,640 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $8,916,000 after buying an additional 1,200 shares during the period. 57.00% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Southern

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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