Seaport Global Securities began coverage on shares of Southern (NYSE:SO) in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday, Benzinga reports. The brokerage issued a buy rating and a $60.00 price target on the utilities provider’s stock.
Other equities analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Southern from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $59.00 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Tuesday, May 5th. Argus upgraded Southern from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $66.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Monday, April 13th. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a buy rating and issued a $67.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a research note on Thursday, April 30th. Wolfe Research upgraded Southern from an underperform rating to a market perform rating in a research note on Thursday, March 12th. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded Southern from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Friday, February 28th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $61.90.
Shares of SO stock traded up $0.75 during trading on Wednesday, hitting $54.58. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 4,407,150 shares, compared to its average volume of 5,260,371. The company has a market cap of $56.90 billion, a PE ratio of 16.24, a P/E/G ratio of 4.26 and a beta of 0.44. The company has a current ratio of 0.99, a quick ratio of 0.78 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.44. The business has a fifty day moving average of $55.58 and a 200-day moving average of $61.17. Southern has a 52 week low of $41.96 and a 52 week high of $71.10.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 8th. Stockholders of record on Monday, May 18th will be given a $0.64 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, May 15th. This is a boost from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.62. This represents a $2.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.69%. Southern’s payout ratio is 82.32%.
In related news, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, April 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.59, for a total transaction of $103,180.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 84,396 shares in the company, valued at $4,353,989.64. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 9,843 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $67.99, for a total value of $669,225.57. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 18,146 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,233,746.54. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 13,843 shares of company stock valued at $881,346. 0.39% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Sowa Financial Group Inc. purchased a new position in Southern during the fourth quarter worth about $25,000. RMR Wealth Builders purchased a new position in Southern during the fourth quarter worth about $25,000. Barnett & Company Inc. purchased a new position in Southern during the first quarter worth about $27,000. Valley National Advisers Inc. grew its position in Southern by 49.0% during the fourth quarter. Valley National Advisers Inc. now owns 447 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $28,000 after buying an additional 147 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Engrave Wealth Partners LLC bought a new stake in Southern during the fourth quarter worth about $31,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 58.84% of the company’s stock.
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.
Read More: What does an outperform rating mean?
Receive News & Ratings for Southern Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Southern and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.