Southern Co (NYSE:SO) – Analysts at SunTrust Banks raised their FY2019 earnings per share (EPS) estimates for shares of Southern in a report released on Wednesday, October 16th. SunTrust Banks analyst A. Agha now anticipates that the utilities provider will post earnings per share of $3.10 for the year, up from their previous forecast of $3.04. SunTrust Banks currently has a “Hold” rating and a $59.00 price objective on the stock.
Several other analysts also recently commented on SO. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 6th. Morgan Stanley decreased their target price on shares of Southern from $55.00 to $54.00 and set an “underweight” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, August 16th. UBS Group boosted their target price on shares of Southern from $58.00 to $62.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, September 6th. Finally, Bank of America boosted their target price on shares of Southern from $60.00 to $64.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, September 12th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $55.70.
SO stock opened at $61.44 on Monday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.59, a current ratio of 0.76 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.33. The company has a market capitalization of $64.14 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.01, a P/E/G ratio of 4.44 and a beta of 0.16. Southern has a 12 month low of $42.50 and a 12 month high of $62.36. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $60.92 and a two-hundred day moving average of $56.46.
Southern (NYSE:SO) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, July 31st. The utilities provider reported $0.80 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.72 by $0.08. The company had revenue of $5.10 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.12 billion. Southern had a net margin of 20.18% and a return on equity of 10.04%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 9.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.80 earnings per share.
Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in Southern by 3.4% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 88,169,680 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $4,874,020,000 after purchasing an additional 2,923,497 shares during the last quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. raised its stake in Southern by 449.2% during the 2nd quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. now owns 3,322,449 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $183,665,000 after purchasing an additional 2,717,467 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in Southern by 2.2% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 70,040,340 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,871,830,000 after purchasing an additional 1,479,813 shares during the last quarter. Invesco Ltd. raised its stake in Southern by 22.4% during the 2nd quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 7,200,728 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $398,057,000 after purchasing an additional 1,319,096 shares during the last quarter. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System raised its stake in Southern by 19.0% during the 2nd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 7,614,081 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $420,906,000 after purchasing an additional 1,215,420 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 58.37% of the company’s stock.
In other news, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 123,533 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, October 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.87, for a total value of $7,642,986.71. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 191,305 shares in the company, valued at $11,836,040.35. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.51, for a total transaction of $115,020.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 71,772 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,127,607.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 202,533 shares of company stock valued at $12,386,567 over the last 90 days. 0.88% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 6th. Stockholders of record on Monday, November 18th will be paid a $0.62 dividend. This represents a $2.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.04%. Southern’s payout ratio is 80.78%.
The Southern Company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. It operates in four segments: Gas Distribution Operations, Gas Pipeline Investments, Wholesale Gas Services, and Gas Marketing Services. 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, and Tennessee, as well as provides gas marketing services, wholesale gas services, and gas pipeline investments operations.
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