Citigroup cut shares of Southern (NYSE:SO) from a neutral rating to a sell rating in a research note released on Wednesday morning, Marketbeat.com reports. Citigroup currently has $45.00 price objective on the utilities provider’s stock.

SO has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Southern from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, April 24th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised their price target on shares of Southern from $43.00 to $45.00 and gave the stock an underweight rating in a report on Tuesday, April 10th. Morgan Stanley raised their price target on shares of Southern from $44.00 to $45.00 and gave the stock an underweight rating in a report on Monday, April 16th. Howard Weil assumed coverage on shares of Southern in a report on Tuesday, July 24th. They issued a sector perform rating and a $45.00 price target for the company. Finally, Deutsche Bank reduced their target price on shares of Southern from $49.00 to $48.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, May 22nd. Eight analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $47.97.

Shares of NYSE SO traded down $0.68 during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $46.13. The company had a trading volume of 6,839,971 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,581,545. The stock has a market cap of $47.47 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.14, a P/E/G ratio of 3.53 and a beta of 0.04. Southern has a 1 year low of $42.38 and a 1 year high of $53.51. 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 (NYSE:SO) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 8th. The utilities provider reported $0.80 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.69 by $0.11. The business had revenue of $5.63 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.28 billion. Southern had a net margin of 9.96% and a return on equity of 13.06%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 3.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.73 earnings per share. sell-side analysts forecast that Southern will post 2.97 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 6th. Investors of record on Monday, August 20th will be issued a dividend of $0.60 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, August 17th. This represents a $2.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 5.20%. Southern’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 79.47%.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of SO. Well Done LLC acquired a new stake in Southern during the first quarter valued at $100,000. Kaizen Advisory LLC grew its position 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 buying an additional 1,307 shares during the period. Destination Wealth Management grew its position 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 buying an additional 1,811 shares during the period. Horan Capital Advisors LLC. acquired a new stake in Southern during the second quarter valued at $121,000. Finally, BerganKDV Wealth Management LLC acquired a new stake in Southern during the second quarter valued at $130,000. 57.00% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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.

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Analyst Recommendations for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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