Southern Co (NYSE:SO) has been given an average rating of “Hold” by the fifteen ratings firms that are presently covering the firm, MarketBeat.com reports. Five analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation and ten have assigned a hold recommendation to the company. The average 1 year target price among brokerages that have covered the stock in the last year is $59.65.

SO has been the topic of a number of research reports. SunTrust Banks upped their target price on shares of Southern from $60.00 to $63.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, December 18th. Evercore ISI restated a “hold” rating and set a $63.50 target price on shares of Southern in a research report on Sunday, December 15th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upped their price target on Southern from $63.00 to $64.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 18th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group upped their price target on Southern from $60.00 to $64.00 and gave the company an “underperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 18th.

Shares of NYSE:SO opened at $65.80 on Thursday. Southern has a 52 week low of $46.26 and a 52 week high of $65.70. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.37, a quick ratio of 0.77 and a current ratio of 0.94. The company’s fifty day moving average is $62.75 and its 200-day moving average is $60.16. The company has a market capitalization of $68.78 billion, a PE ratio of 21.43, a P/E/G ratio of 4.54 and a beta of 0.15.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 30th. The utilities provider reported $1.34 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.20. The business had revenue of $6 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $6.01 billion. Southern had a net margin of 21.02% and a return on equity of 10.52%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 2.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.14 EPS. On average, analysts forecast that Southern will post 3.1 EPS for the current year.

In related news, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 54,966 shares of Southern stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, January 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $64.50, for a total value of $3,545,307.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 65,131 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,200,949.50. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 2,000 shares of Southern stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, January 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.53, for a total value of $125,060.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 66,564 shares in the company, valued at $4,162,246.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 2,157,220 shares of company stock worth $135,771,433 over the last three months. Insiders own 0.88% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of SO. Farmers Trust Co. lifted its holdings in Southern by 1.2% in the 3rd quarter. Farmers Trust Co. now owns 14,410 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $890,000 after buying an additional 172 shares during the period. ZWJ Investment Counsel Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Southern by 0.7% in the 3rd quarter. ZWJ Investment Counsel Inc. now owns 24,925 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,540,000 after purchasing an additional 175 shares during the period. Capital Advisors Ltd. LLC lifted its stake in shares of Southern by 30.0% in the 3rd quarter. Capital Advisors Ltd. LLC now owns 780 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $48,000 after purchasing an additional 180 shares during the period. Washington Trust Bank lifted its stake in shares of Southern by 1.5% in the 3rd quarter. Washington Trust Bank now owns 12,945 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $799,000 after purchasing an additional 189 shares during the period. Finally, Traverso Chambers Private Wealth Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of Southern by 3.4% in the 3rd quarter. Traverso Chambers Private Wealth Management LLC now owns 5,762 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $356,000 after purchasing an additional 192 shares during the period. 58.97% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Southern

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.

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Analyst Recommendations for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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