Southern (SO) Coverage Initiated at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. assumed coverage on shares of Southern (NYSE:SO) in a research report issued on Friday, MarketBeat.com reports. The firm set an “underweight” rating and a $46.00 price target on the utilities provider’s stock. JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s price objective indicates a potential upside of 2.59% from the stock’s previous close.

SO has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Zacks Investment Research lowered Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, October 13th. Guggenheim upgraded Southern from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price objective for the company from $49.00 to $56.00 in a research report on Thursday, September 14th. Mizuho restated a “buy” rating and set a $52.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a research report on Tuesday, December 26th. SunTrust Banks restated a “hold” rating and set a $50.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a research report on Tuesday, December 26th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group restated a “sell” rating on shares of Southern in a research report on Wednesday. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $51.20.

Shares of Southern (NYSE:SO) opened at $44.84 on Friday. Southern has a 12 month low of $44.44 and a 12 month high of $53.51. The company has a quick ratio of 0.57, a current ratio of 0.73 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.73. The stock has a market capitalization of $45,002.68, a price-to-earnings ratio of 80.07, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.31 and a beta of 0.14.

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

In other Southern news, VP James Y. Kerr II sold 25,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, October 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.16, for a total value 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 sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 46,641 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated 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 completion of 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. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 128,662 shares of company stock valued at $6,772,438. 1.00% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. AlphaMark Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of Southern by 0.6% during the second quarter. AlphaMark Advisors LLC now owns 2,363 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $113,000 after acquiring an additional 14 shares in the last quarter. South Texas Money Management Ltd. raised its stake in shares of Southern by 0.3% during the second quarter. South Texas Money Management Ltd. now owns 7,084 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $339,000 after acquiring an additional 19 shares in the last quarter. WMS Partners LLC raised its stake in shares of Southern by 0.6% during the second quarter. WMS Partners LLC now owns 4,387 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $210,000 after acquiring an additional 25 shares in the last quarter. Sfmg LLC raised its stake in shares of Southern by 0.5% during the second quarter. Sfmg LLC now owns 6,435 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $308,000 after acquiring an additional 29 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Jackson Grant Investment Advisers Inc. raised its stake in shares of Southern by 1.2% during the second quarter. Jackson Grant Investment Advisers Inc. now owns 3,317 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $159,000 after acquiring an additional 38 shares in the last quarter. 53.66% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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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