Southern (SO) Receives “Sell” Rating from Goldman Sachs Group

Goldman Sachs Group restated their sell rating on shares of Southern (NYSE:SO) in a research note released on Wednesday, MarketBeat.com reports.

Several other equities research analysts have also commented on SO. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a buy rating on shares of Southern in a report on Friday, December 22nd. Guggenheim reissued a buy rating and issued a $52.00 price target on shares of Southern in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. SunTrust Banks set a $49.00 price target on shares of Southern and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Mizuho reissued a buy rating and issued a $52.00 price target on shares of Southern in a report on Tuesday, December 26th. Finally, Citigroup reissued a sell rating and issued a $44.00 price target (up previously from $43.00) on shares of Southern in a report on Tuesday, October 3rd. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $51.20.

Shares of Southern (NYSE:SO) opened at $44.84 on Wednesday. The company has a market cap of $45,414.17, a price-to-earnings ratio of 80.07, a P/E/G ratio of 3.34 and a beta of 0.14. The company has a quick ratio of 0.57, a current ratio of 0.73 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.73. Southern has a 1-year low of $44.44 and a 1-year high of $53.51.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The utilities provider reported $1.12 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.08 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $6.20 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $6.16 billion. Southern had a net margin of 2.59% and a return on equity of 10.81%. The firm’s revenue was down 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.27 EPS. analysts expect that Southern will post 2.96 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, VP James Y. Kerr II sold 25,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, October 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.16, for a total transaction of $1,304,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 26,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,356,160. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 46,641 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.00, for a total transaction of $2,471,973.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 56,799 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,010,347. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 128,662 shares of company stock valued at $6,772,438 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 1.00% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Southern by 3.3% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 71,053,604 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,402,047,000 after purchasing an additional 2,295,466 shares during the period. Franklin Resources Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Southern by 3.6% in the second quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 22,379,839 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,071,547,000 after purchasing an additional 770,413 shares during the period. Capital Research Global Investors grew its holdings in shares of Southern by 25.3% in the second quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 14,940,226 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $715,338,000 after purchasing an additional 3,015,226 shares during the period. Ameriprise Financial Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Southern by 3.9% in the third quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 9,378,775 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $460,666,000 after purchasing an additional 352,722 shares during the period. Finally, Legal & General Group Plc grew its holdings in shares of Southern by 4.2% in the third quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 7,292,675 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $358,339,000 after purchasing an additional 291,409 shares during the period. 53.66% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Southern

The Southern Company (Southern Company) is a holding company. The Company owns all of the stock of the traditional electric operating companies and the parent entities of Southern Power Company (Southern Power) and Southern Company Gas, and owns other direct and indirect subsidiaries. The Company’s segments include Gas distribution operations, Gas marketing services, Wholesale gas services, Gas midstream operations and All other.

Analyst Recommendations for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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