Southern (NYSE:SO) PT Lowered to $67.00 at Morgan Stanley

Southern (NYSE:SOGet Rating) had its target price reduced by Morgan Stanley from $68.00 to $67.00 in a report released on Tuesday, MarketBeat.com reports. Morgan Stanley currently has an underweight rating on the utilities provider’s stock.

A number of other equities research analysts also recently commented on SO. Bank of America downgraded Southern from a buy rating to a neutral rating and reduced their target price for the company from $75.00 to $71.00 in a research report on Monday, February 7th. Wells Fargo & Company lifted their price objective on Southern from $68.00 to $80.00 and gave the company an equal weight rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 19th. StockNews.com initiated coverage on Southern in a research note on Thursday, March 31st. They issued a hold rating for the company. UBS Group cut Southern from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 5th. Finally, KeyCorp lifted their price objective on Southern from $69.00 to $71.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a research note on Thursday, January 13th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. According to MarketBeat.com, Southern presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $73.67.

Shares of Southern stock opened at $75.58 on Tuesday. Southern has a one year low of $60.12 and a one year high of $77.24. The company has a market cap of $80.13 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 33.44, a PEG ratio of 5.38 and a beta of 0.52. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.55, a quick ratio of 0.64 and a current ratio of 0.82. The business’s 50 day moving average price is $70.79 and its 200 day moving average price is $67.22.

Southern (NYSE:SOGet Rating) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, April 28th. The utilities provider reported $0.97 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.06. Southern had a return on equity of 11.02% and a net margin of 10.42%. The company had revenue of $6.60 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.93 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.98 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 11.7% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that Southern will post 3.56 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 6th. Stockholders of record on Monday, May 16th will be issued a $0.68 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, May 13th. This represents a $2.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.60%. This is an increase from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.66. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is presently 116.81%.

In related news, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 14,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, April 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $75.97, for a total value of $1,101,565.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 115,284 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $8,758,125.48. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Christopher C. Womack sold 4,746 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, February 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.07, for a total value of $308,822.22. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 332,516 shares of company stock worth $23,808,569. Company insiders own 0.43% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of SO. Keudell Morrison Wealth Management lifted its position in Southern by 1.2% during the 3rd quarter. Keudell Morrison Wealth Management now owns 18,794 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,165,000 after acquiring an additional 225 shares during the period. Segall Bryant & Hamill LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Southern by 28.7% in the 3rd quarter. Segall Bryant & Hamill LLC now owns 18,885 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,170,000 after buying an additional 4,206 shares during the period. Herold Advisors Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Southern in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $68,000. Van ECK Associates Corp lifted its holdings in shares of Southern by 8.7% in the 3rd quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 190,342 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $11,795,000 after buying an additional 15,225 shares during the period. Finally, Treasurer of the State of North Carolina lifted its holdings in shares of Southern by 0.3% in the 3rd quarter. Treasurer of the State of North Carolina now owns 446,694 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $27,682,000 after buying an additional 1,300 shares during the period. 59.24% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Southern (Get Rating)

The Southern Company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. It operates through Gas Distribution Operations, Gas Pipeline Investments, Wholesale Gas Services, and Gas Marketing Services segments. The company also develops, constructs, acquires, owns, and manages power generation assets, including renewable energy projects 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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