Southern (SO) Stock Rating Lowered by Guggenheim

Guggenheim cut shares of Southern (NYSE:SO) from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a research note published on Wednesday, MarketBeat reports. Guggenheim currently has $47.00 price objective on the utilities provider’s stock, down from their prior price objective of $50.00.

Several other research firms have also weighed in on SO. Morgan Stanley raised their target price on Southern from $44.00 to $45.00 and gave the company an underweight rating in a report on Monday, April 16th. ValuEngine lowered Southern from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Tuesday, May 8th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Southern from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, April 24th. Scotiabank restated a sector perform rating on shares of Southern in a report on Tuesday, July 24th. Finally, TheStreet upgraded Southern from a c rating to a b- rating in a report on Monday, June 4th. Eight research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $47.97.

Shares of NYSE:SO traded down $0.68 during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $46.13. 6,839,971 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 4,581,545. The company has a current ratio of 0.81, a quick ratio of 0.55 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.59. Southern has a 52-week low of $42.38 and a 52-week high of $53.51. The firm has a market cap of $47.47 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.14, a P/E/G ratio of 3.53 and a beta of 0.04.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 8th. The utilities provider reported $0.80 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.69 by $0.11. Southern had a return on equity of 13.06% and a net margin of 9.96%. The business had revenue of $5.63 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.28 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.73 earnings per share. Southern’s quarterly revenue was up 3.6% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts forecast that Southern will post 2.97 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 6th. Stockholders of record on Monday, August 20th will be given a $0.60 dividend. This represents a $2.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 5.20%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, August 17th. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is currently 79.47%.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of SO. Well Done LLC acquired a new stake in Southern during the first quarter valued at approximately $100,000. Kaizen Advisory LLC boosted its holdings in Southern by 133.8% during the second quarter. Kaizen Advisory LLC now owns 2,284 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $106,000 after purchasing an additional 1,307 shares in the last quarter. Destination Wealth Management boosted its holdings in Southern by 359.3% during the second quarter. Destination Wealth Management now owns 2,315 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $107,000 after purchasing an additional 1,811 shares in the last quarter. Horan Capital Advisors LLC. acquired a new stake in Southern during the second quarter valued at approximately $121,000. Finally, BerganKDV Wealth Management LLC acquired a new stake in Southern during the second quarter valued at approximately $130,000. 57.00% of the stock is currently owned by 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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