Guggenheim Reaffirms “Buy” Rating for Southern (SO)

Southern (NYSE:SO)‘s stock had its “buy” rating reiterated by equities researchers at Guggenheim in a report issued on Friday. They presently have a $51.00 price target on the utilities provider’s stock. Guggenheim’s price target suggests a potential upside of 15.72% from the stock’s previous close.

Several other brokerages also recently commented on SO. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Southern from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, November 3rd. Mizuho reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $55.00 price target on shares of Southern in a report on Friday, December 8th. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Southern in a report on Friday, December 22nd. SunTrust Banks reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $50.00 price target on shares of Southern in a report on Tuesday, December 26th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group reiterated a “sell” rating on shares of Southern in a report on Wednesday, January 10th. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $49.70.

Shares of Southern (NYSE SO) traded up $1.05 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $44.07. 5,650,000 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 8,760,000. The company has a market cap of $44,230.00, a P/E ratio of 78.70, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.24 and a beta of 0.03. Southern has a one year low of $42.38 and a one year high of $53.51. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.84, a current ratio of 0.74 and a quick ratio of 0.57.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 21st. The utilities provider reported $0.51 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.46 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $5.63 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.17 billion. Southern had a net margin of 3.82% and a return on equity of 11.96%. The firm’s revenue was up 8.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.24 EPS. analysts predict that Southern will post 2.95 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of SO. Janus Henderson Group PLC lifted its position in shares of Southern by 3,580.1% in the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 4,673,498 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $223,766,000 after purchasing an additional 4,546,503 shares during the period. Capital Research Global Investors lifted its position in shares of Southern by 25.3% in the 2nd quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 14,940,226 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $715,338,000 after purchasing an additional 3,015,226 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its position in shares of Southern by 3.3% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 71,053,604 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,402,047,000 after purchasing an additional 2,295,466 shares during the period. Commonwealth Bank of Australia lifted its position in shares of Southern by 1,565.3% in the 3rd quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia now owns 1,738,380 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $59,048,000 after purchasing an additional 1,633,990 shares during the period. Finally, Luminus Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Southern in the 4th quarter worth approximately $70,674,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 53.87% 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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