Southern (SO) Price Target Raised to $46.00

Southern (NYSE:SO) had its price target raised by research analysts at Credit Suisse Group from $44.00 to $46.00 in a note issued to investors on Thursday. The firm presently has an “underperform” rating on the utilities provider’s stock. Credit Suisse Group’s target price points to a potential downside of 1.12% from the company’s current price.

A number of other research firms also recently issued reports on SO. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $49.00 target price for the company in a research report on Tuesday, October 9th. Barclays downgraded shares of Southern from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and cut their target price for the stock from $51.00 to $48.00 in a research report on Thursday, August 9th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Southern from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, October 19th. SunTrust Banks restated a “hold” rating and set a $48.00 price target on shares of Southern in a report on Thursday, November 8th. Finally, Scotiabank restated a “hold” rating and set a $44.00 price target on shares of Southern in a report on Thursday, August 9th. Six analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $46.54.

Southern stock opened at $46.52 on Thursday. Southern has a 52 week low of $42.38 and a 52 week high of $52.00. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.48, a current ratio of 0.72 and a quick ratio of 0.58. The company has a market capitalization of $48.60 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.40, a PEG ratio of 3.46 and a beta of -0.07.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 7th. The utilities provider reported $1.14 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.07 by $0.07. Southern had a net margin of 10.35% and a return on equity of 12.88%. The firm had revenue of $6.70 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $6.68 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.12 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 8.0% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts forecast that Southern will post 3.03 EPS for the current year.

In related news, insider Mark Lantrip sold 9,000 shares of Southern stock in a transaction on Tuesday, December 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.58, for a total value of $428,220.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CEO Kimberly S. Greene sold 15,000 shares of Southern stock in a transaction on Monday, December 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.03, for a total transaction of $705,450.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 9,380 shares in the company, valued at approximately $441,141.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.73% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. CIBC World Markets Inc. boosted its position in shares of Southern by 1.0% during the 3rd quarter. CIBC World Markets Inc. now owns 106,867 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $4,659,000 after acquiring an additional 1,071 shares in the last quarter. Andra AP fonden boosted its position in shares of Southern by 2.1% during the 2nd quarter. Andra AP fonden now owns 52,500 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,431,000 after acquiring an additional 1,100 shares in the last quarter. Prime Capital Investment Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Southern by 10.6% during the 3rd quarter. Prime Capital Investment Advisors LLC now owns 11,597 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $506,000 after acquiring an additional 1,107 shares in the last quarter. Summit Asset Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Southern by 15.1% during the 3rd quarter. Summit Asset Management LLC now owns 8,868 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $387,000 after acquiring an additional 1,165 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Evercore Wealth Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Southern by 5.2% during the 3rd quarter. Evercore Wealth Management LLC now owns 23,691 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,033,000 after acquiring an additional 1,171 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 56.58% of the company’s stock.

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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