Southern (SO) Getting Somewhat Favorable Press Coverage, Analysis Shows

Media coverage about Southern (NYSE:SO) has been trending somewhat positive this week, Accern Sentiment Analysis reports. The research firm scores the sentiment of press coverage by reviewing more than twenty million blog and news sources in real-time. Accern ranks coverage of publicly-traded companies on a scale of -1 to 1, with scores nearest to one being the most favorable. Southern earned a news sentiment score of 0.20 on Accern’s scale. Accern also assigned news coverage about the utilities provider an impact score of 46.3161928180769 out of 100, indicating that recent press coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an effect on the company’s share price in the next few days.

Here are some of the media stories that may have impacted Accern’s analysis:

Southern traded down $0.27, hitting $43.62, during trading on Thursday, according to Marketbeat. 5,041,838 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 6,566,101. The company has a quick ratio of 0.55, a current ratio of 0.70 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.71. Southern has a 12-month low of $43.62 and a 12-month high of $44.42. The firm has a market cap of $44.72 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.44, a PEG ratio of 3.40 and a beta of 0.01.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.88 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.84 by $0.04. Southern had a net margin of 4.88% and a return on equity of 12.97%. The business had revenue of $6.37 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.98 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.66 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 10.4% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts expect that Southern will post 2.89 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, June 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, May 21st will be given a dividend of $0.60 per share. This represents a $2.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 5.50%. This is a positive change from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.58. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, May 18th. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is presently 76.82%.

Several brokerages recently issued reports on SO. ValuEngine lowered shares of Southern from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 8th. Credit Suisse Group upped their target price on shares of Southern to $45.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday, May 7th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Southern from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 1st. Morgan Stanley upped their target price on shares of Southern from $44.00 to $45.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research report on Monday, April 16th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase upped their target price on shares of Southern from $43.00 to $45.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 10th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company. Southern presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $49.17.

Southern Company Profile

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.

Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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