Southern (SO) Earns Underweight Rating from Analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. assumed coverage on shares of Southern (NYSE:SO) in a research note issued to investors on Friday morning, MarketBeat Ratings reports. The firm issued an underweight rating and a $46.00 target price on the utilities provider’s stock.

SO has been the topic of several other research reports. SunTrust Banks reiterated a hold rating and issued a $52.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a research note on Friday, October 20th. Mizuho reiterated a buy rating and issued a $52.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a research note on Tuesday, December 26th. Bank of America reiterated an underperform rating and issued a $51.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a research note on Tuesday, October 24th. Royal Bank of Canada upgraded Southern from a sector perform rating to an outperform rating and set a $53.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Friday, September 29th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Southern from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $57.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, December 12th. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Southern has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $51.20.

Shares of Southern (SO) traded down $0.41 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $44.84. The stock had a trading volume of 8,591,200 shares, compared to its average volume of 6,802,145. Southern has a 12-month low of $44.44 and a 12-month high of $53.51. The stock has a market cap of $45,000.00, a P/E ratio of 80.07, a PEG ratio of 3.31 and a beta of 0.14. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.73, a current ratio of 0.73 and a quick ratio of 0.57.

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

In other news, insider Ann P. Daiss sold 5,080 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, November 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.28, for a total value of $270,662.40. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 7,474 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $398,214.72. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Ann P. Daiss sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, October 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.28, for a total transaction of $261,400.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 7,394 shares in the company, valued at approximately $386,558.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 128,662 shares of company stock worth $6,772,438 in the last three months. Insiders own 0.74% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC bought a new position in Southern in the second quarter valued at $100,000. Farmers & Merchants Trust Co of Chambersburg PA bought a new position in Southern in the third quarter valued at $105,000. Monroe Bank & Trust MI increased its stake in Southern by 17.9% in the second quarter. Monroe Bank & Trust MI now owns 2,300 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $110,000 after acquiring an additional 350 shares during the last quarter. AlphaMark Advisors LLC increased its stake in Southern by 0.6% in the second quarter. AlphaMark Advisors LLC now owns 2,363 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $113,000 after acquiring an additional 14 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Fieldpoint Private Securities LLC bought a new position in Southern in the third quarter valued at $118,000. 53.68% of the stock is currently 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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