Several analysts have recently updated their ratings and price targets for Southern Company (The) (NYSE: SO):

  • 8/10/2017 – Southern Company (The) was downgraded by analysts at BidaskClub from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating.
  • 8/10/2017 – Southern Company (The) was given a new $50.00 price target on by analysts at Morgan Stanley. They now have a “sell” rating on the stock.
  • 8/8/2017 – Southern Company (The) is now covered by analysts at J P Morgan Chase & Co. They set an “overweight” rating and a $16.78 price target on the stock.
  • 8/4/2017 – Southern Company (The) was upgraded by analysts at BidaskClub from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating.
  • 8/3/2017 – Southern Company (The) was upgraded by analysts at Credit Suisse Group from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating.
  • 8/1/2017 – Southern Company (The) was upgraded by analysts at Deutsche Bank AG from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating. They now have a $52.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $50.00.
  • 8/1/2017 – Southern Company (The) is now covered by analysts at J P Morgan Chase & Co. They set an “overweight” rating on the stock.
  • 7/31/2017 – Southern Company (The) had its “hold” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Royal Bank Of Canada. They now have a $53.00 price target on the stock.
  • 7/26/2017 – Southern Company (The) had its price target raised by analysts at Citigroup Inc. from $42.00 to $43.00. They now have a “sell” rating on the stock.
  • 7/25/2017 – Southern Company (The) had its “buy” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Barclays PLC. They now have a $54.00 price target on the stock.
  • 7/24/2017 – Southern Company (The) was upgraded by analysts at BidaskClub from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating.
  • 7/19/2017 – Southern Company (The) had its “buy” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Jefferies Group LLC. They now have a $55.00 price target on the stock.
  • 7/10/2017 – Southern Company (The) was upgraded by analysts at Macquarie from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating. They now have a $52.00 price target on the stock.
  • 6/28/2017 – Southern Company (The) had its price target lowered by analysts at Royal Bank Of Canada from $54.00 to $53.00. They now have a “sector perform” rating on the stock.
  • 6/24/2017 – Southern Company (The) was downgraded by analysts at BidaskClub from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating.
  • 6/23/2017 – Southern Company (The) had its price target lowered by analysts at Morgan Stanley from $53.00 to $51.00. They now have an “underweight” rating on the stock.
  • 6/16/2017 – Southern Company (The) was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating. According to Zacks, “Following continued timing and cost overrun issues over two large construction projects – Vogtle and Kemper – we are recalibrating our investment thesis on Southern Company to Sell from Hold. Despite Toshiba’s financial guarantee to help complete the half-finished Vogtle nuclear plant expansion in Georgia, doubts remain about the $20 billion initiative that has gone well over budget and is years behind schedule. Southern is also facing challenges to place its Kemper, Mississippi coal gasification plant in service, whose full operation has been delayed time and again amid additional cost burden. We believe the financial stress from these projects, together with Southern’s hefty expenses to comply with environmental controls/regulations will cause an underperformance in the utility's shares relative to the market as well as the sector in the coming quarters.”

Southern Company (NYSE:SO) opened at 48.81 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $48.78 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 80.28 and a beta of 0.12. The company’s 50 day moving average is $48.14 and its 200 day moving average is $49.47. Southern Company has a 12-month low of $46.20 and a 12-month high of $53.73.

Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.73 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.71 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $5.43 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.23 billion. Southern Company (The) had a net margin of 2.93% and a return on equity of 11.30%. Southern Company (The)’s revenue was up 21.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.74 earnings per share. Analysts forecast that Southern Company will post $2.95 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, September 6th. Investors of record on Monday, August 21st will be paid a dividend of $0.58 per share. This represents a $2.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.75%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, August 17th. Southern Company (The)’s payout ratio is 346.27%.

In other news, CEO Mark Lantrip sold 25,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, June 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.50, for a total value of $1,287,500.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 31,080 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,600,620. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 75,144 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.29, for a total transaction of $3,703,847.76. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 85,298 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,204,338.42. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 152,084 shares of company stock worth $7,665,158. 1.00% of the stock is owned by insiders.

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.

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