Southern (NYSE:SO) had its price target decreased by Morgan Stanley from $45.00 to $44.00 in a research report sent to investors on Thursday morning. Morgan Stanley currently has an underweight rating on the utilities provider’s stock.

Several other research firms have also issued reports on SO. SunTrust Banks set a $45.00 price target on shares of Southern and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Friday, February 23rd. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Southern from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Monday, January 15th. Mizuho lowered shares of Southern from a buy rating to a neutral rating and set a $44.50 price target on the stock. in a research report on Tuesday, January 23rd. Royal Bank of Canada restated a buy rating on shares of Southern in a research report on Friday, December 22nd. Finally, UBS Group assumed coverage on shares of Southern in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. They issued a neutral rating and a $46.00 target price on the stock. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $49.41.

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Shares of Southern (NYSE SO) opened at $43.76 on Thursday. The company has a current ratio of 0.74, a quick ratio of 0.59 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.84. The stock has a market cap of $44,120.00, a P/E ratio of 78.14, a P/E/G ratio of 3.33 and a beta of 0.07. Southern has a 52-week low of $42.38 and a 52-week high of $53.51.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 21st. The utilities provider reported $0.51 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.46 by $0.05. The business had revenue of $5.63 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.17 billion. Southern had a net margin of 3.82% and a return on equity of 11.96%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.24 EPS. analysts forecast that Southern will post 2.9 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, March 6th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, February 20th were given a $0.58 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Friday, February 16th. This represents a $2.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.30%. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is currently 414.29%.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of SO. Taylor Hoffman Wealth Management acquired a new position in shares of Southern during the fourth quarter worth $104,000. Farmers & Merchants Trust Co of Chambersburg PA acquired a new position in shares of Southern during the third quarter worth $105,000. We Are One Seven LLC acquired a new position in shares of Southern during the fourth quarter worth $106,000. Fieldpoint Private Securities LLC acquired a new position in shares of Southern during the third quarter worth $118,000. Finally, Acropolis Investment Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Southern during the fourth quarter worth $134,000. Institutional investors own 55.80% of the company’s stock.

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About Southern

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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