Guggenheim Reiterates “Buy” Rating for Southern (NYSE:SO)

Guggenheim reiterated their buy rating on shares of Southern (NYSE:SO) in a report issued on Wednesday, January 3rd. Guggenheim currently has a $52.00 price target on the utilities provider’s stock.

A number of other brokerages have also issued reports on SO. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Southern from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Friday, November 3rd. Bank of America reaffirmed an underperform rating and set a $51.00 target price on shares of Southern in a research report on Tuesday, October 24th. SunTrust Banks reaffirmed a hold rating and set a $52.00 target price on shares of Southern in a research report on Friday, October 20th. Mizuho reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $55.00 target price on shares of Southern in a research report on Friday, December 8th. Finally, Jefferies Group reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $56.00 target price (up previously from $55.00) on shares of Southern in a research report on Tuesday, September 12th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the stock. Southern presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $49.25.

Southern (SO) traded down $0.71 during trading hours on Wednesday, hitting $45.25. 6,856,800 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 6,578,226. Southern has a 12 month low of $45.08 and a 12 month high of $53.51. The company has a market capitalization of $45,410.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 80.80, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.45 and a beta of 0.14. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.73, a quick ratio of 0.57 and a current ratio of 0.73.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The utilities provider reported $1.12 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.08 by $0.04. Southern had a net margin of 2.59% and a return on equity of 10.81%. The company had revenue of $6.20 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $6.16 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.27 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts expect that Southern will post 2.96 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, insider Art P. Beattie sold 46,941 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, October 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.50, for a total value of $2,464,402.50. Following the sale, the insider now owns 59,494 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,123,435. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, VP James Y. Kerr II sold 25,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, October 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.16, for a total transaction of $1,304,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 26,000 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,356,160. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 128,662 shares of company stock worth $6,772,438 in the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 0.74% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Iberiabank Corp raised its holdings in shares of Southern by 6.5% in the third quarter. Iberiabank Corp now owns 151,315 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $7,437,000 after buying an additional 9,232 shares during the last quarter. Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC bought a new position in shares of Southern in the third quarter valued at about $2,088,000. Captrust Financial Advisors bought a new position in shares of Southern in the second quarter valued at about $854,000. Asset Management One Co. Ltd. raised its holdings in shares of Southern by 1.4% in the third quarter. Asset Management One Co. Ltd. now owns 1,660,838 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $81,592,000 after buying an additional 22,233 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Fiera Capital Corp raised its holdings in shares of Southern by 4.3% in the second quarter. Fiera Capital Corp now owns 34,294 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,642,000 after buying an additional 1,399 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 53.66% 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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