Southern (SO) Receiving Somewhat Positive Press Coverage, Study Shows

News articles about Southern (NYSE:SO) have trended somewhat positive recently, according to Accern Sentiment Analysis. The research firm identifies negative and positive press coverage by reviewing more than twenty million news and blog sources. Accern ranks coverage of public companies on a scale of -1 to 1, with scores closest to one being the most favorable. Southern earned a media sentiment score of 0.14 on Accern’s scale. Accern also assigned media coverage about the utilities provider an impact score of 46.2759914637308 out of 100, meaning that recent press coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an effect on the company’s share price in the near future.

These are some of the news headlines that may have effected Accern Sentiment’s scoring:

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Southern stock traded up $0.17 during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $45.60. 4,297,578 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 6,981,660. The company has a market capitalization of $46,193.84, a PE ratio of 15.10, a PEG ratio of 3.50 and a beta of 0.02. Southern has a fifty-two week low of $42.38 and a fifty-two week high of $53.51. The company has a current ratio of 0.74, a quick ratio of 0.59 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.84.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 21st. The utilities provider reported $0.51 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 the consensus estimate of $5.17 billion. Southern had a return on equity of 11.96% and a net margin of 3.82%. The firm’s revenue was up 8.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.24 EPS. analysts predict that Southern will post 2.91 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, June 6th. Investors of record on Monday, May 21st will be paid a dividend of $0.60 per share. This represents a $2.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 5.26%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, May 18th. This is an increase from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.58. Southern’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 76.82%.

A number of research analysts have recently weighed in on the company. JPMorgan Chase assumed coverage on Southern in a research note on Friday, January 12th. They issued an “underweight” rating and a $46.00 price target on the stock. Morgan Stanley increased their price target on Southern from $44.00 to $45.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a research note on Monday. Mizuho reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $52.00 price target on shares of Southern in a research note on Tuesday, December 26th. SunTrust Banks reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $45.00 price target on shares of Southern in a research note on Tuesday, March 6th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group reissued an “underperform” rating and issued a $45.00 price target (down previously from $46.00) on shares of Southern in a research note on Tuesday, February 27th. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $49.17.

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Southern Company Profile

The Southern Company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. 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, New Jersey, Florida, Tennessee, and Maryland, as well as provides gas marketing services, wholesale gas services, and gas midstream operations.

Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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