Southern Co. (NYSE:SO) has received an average rating of “Hold” from the fourteen research firms that are covering the stock. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation, ten have issued a hold recommendation and two have given a buy recommendation to the company. The average 1-year target price among brokerages that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $53.29.

SO has been the topic of a number of recent analyst reports. SunTrust Banks Inc. upped their price target on shares of Southern from $52.00 to $54.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, September 26th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $60.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, September 27th. Finally, Jefferies Group upped their price target on shares of Southern from $50.00 to $55.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 28th.

Southern (NYSE:SO) traded down 0.41% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $48.14. The company had a trading volume of 4,609,552 shares. Southern has a one year low of $43.72 and a one year high of $54.64. The stock has a market capitalization of $47.18 billion, a PE ratio of 18.08 and a beta of 0.07. The company’s 50-day moving average is $50.61 and its 200-day moving average is $51.33.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Monday, October 31st. The company reported $1.28 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.17 by $0.11. Southern had a net margin of 14.14% and a return on equity of 12.69%. The business had revenue of $6.26 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.41 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.17 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 16.0% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts anticipate that Southern will post $2.90 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, December 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, November 21st will be paid a dividend of $0.56 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 17th. This represents a $2.24 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.63%. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is currently 83.27%.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Acropolis Investment Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Southern during the third quarter valued at $101,000. CWM LLC raised its position in shares of Southern by 229.9% in the third quarter. CWM LLC now owns 2,039 shares of the company’s stock valued at $105,000 after buying an additional 1,421 shares during the last quarter. Krilogy Financial LLC raised its position in shares of Southern by 87.8% in the second quarter. Krilogy Financial LLC now owns 2,066 shares of the company’s stock valued at $111,000 after buying an additional 966 shares during the last quarter. Ledyard National Bank raised its position in shares of Southern by 112.3% in the third quarter. Ledyard National Bank now owns 2,410 shares of the company’s stock valued at $124,000 after buying an additional 1,275 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Loomis Sayles & Co. L P raised its position in shares of Southern by 447.9% in the second quarter. Loomis Sayles & Co. L P now owns 2,471 shares of the company’s stock valued at $133,000 after buying an additional 2,020 shares during the last quarter. 49.52% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Southern Company Profile

The Southern Company (Southern Company) is a holding company. The Company owns all of the stock of the traditional operating companies and Southern Power Company (Southern Power), and owns other direct and indirect subsidiaries. Southern Company’s segments include the sale of electricity by four traditional operating companies, Southern Power and All Other.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:SO

Receive News & Stock Ratings for Southern Co. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Southern Co. and related stocks with our FREE daily email newsletter.