Southern (NYSE:SO)‘s stock had its “buy” rating restated by stock analysts at Guggenheim in a report released on Wednesday. They presently have a $52.00 price objective on the utilities provider’s stock. Guggenheim’s price objective indicates a potential upside of 10.24% from the stock’s previous close.

A number of other brokerages have also issued reports on SO. Citigroup reiterated a “sell” rating and issued a $44.00 price target (up previously from $43.00) on shares of Southern in a research note on Tuesday, October 3rd. Zacks Investment Research lowered Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, October 13th. SunTrust Banks reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $50.00 price target on shares of Southern in a research note on Tuesday, December 26th. Mizuho upgraded Southern from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $53.00 price target for the company in a research note on Tuesday, September 5th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Southern in a research note on Friday, December 22nd. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $49.32.

Southern (SO) traded down $0.92 during trading hours on Wednesday, hitting $47.17. The stock had a trading volume of 7,278,800 shares, compared to its average volume of 5,455,800. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.73, a current ratio of 0.73 and a quick ratio of 0.57. The stock has a market cap of $47,110.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 84.23, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.55 and a beta of 0.14. Southern has a 52-week low of $46.71 and a 52-week high of $53.51.

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

In related news, VP James Y. Kerr II sold 25,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, October 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.16, for a total value of $1,304,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 26,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,356,160. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CEO William P. Bowers sold 85,151 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.00, for a total transaction of $4,257,550.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 213,813 shares of company stock valued at $11,029,988 in the last three months. Insiders own 0.74% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in SO. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC purchased a new position in shares of Southern during the second quarter worth approximately $100,000. Farmers & Merchants Trust Co of Chambersburg PA purchased a new position in shares of Southern during the third quarter worth approximately $105,000. Monroe Bank & Trust MI increased its position in shares of Southern by 17.9% during the second quarter. Monroe Bank & Trust MI now owns 2,300 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $110,000 after acquiring an additional 350 shares during the period. AlphaMark Advisors LLC increased its holdings in Southern by 0.6% during the second quarter. AlphaMark Advisors LLC now owns 2,363 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $113,000 after buying an additional 14 shares during the period. Finally, Fieldpoint Private Securities LLC purchased a new position in Southern during the third quarter valued at approximately $118,000. 53.66% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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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