Southern (SO) PT Raised to $45.00 at Morgan Stanley

Southern (NYSE:SO) had its price objective increased by equities researchers at Morgan Stanley from $44.00 to $45.00 in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday. The brokerage presently has an “underweight” rating on the utilities provider’s stock. Morgan Stanley’s price objective points to a potential downside of 1.79% from the stock’s current price.

A number of other analysts also recently issued reports on SO. JPMorgan Chase raised their price objective on Southern from $43.00 to $45.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 10th. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Southern in a research report on Friday, December 22nd. UBS assumed coverage on Southern in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $46.00 target price for the company. SunTrust Banks set a $47.00 target price on Southern and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 17th. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. Seven research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Southern has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $49.17.

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Shares of NYSE:SO opened at $45.82 on Monday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.84, a current ratio of 0.74 and a quick ratio of 0.59. The stock has a market cap of $44,298.50, a P/E ratio of 15.17, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.36 and a beta of 0.02. Southern has a 12-month low of $42.38 and a 12-month high of $53.51.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 21st. The utilities provider reported $0.51 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.46 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $5.63 billion during 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 company’s quarterly revenue was up 8.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.24 EPS. sell-side analysts forecast that Southern will post 2.91 EPS for the current year.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Green Square Capital LLC boosted its stake in shares of Southern by 46.3% in the 4th quarter. Green Square Capital LLC now owns 32,460 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,561,000 after buying an additional 10,270 shares during the period. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Southern by 9.7% in the 4th quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 238,247 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $11,457,000 after buying an additional 21,004 shares during the period. Certified Advisory Corp purchased a new position in shares of Southern in the 4th quarter valued at about $407,000. Wagner Wealth Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Southern in the 4th quarter valued at about $281,000. Finally, Rehmann Capital Advisory Group boosted its stake in shares of Southern by 11.6% in the 4th quarter. Rehmann Capital Advisory Group now owns 20,764 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $999,000 after buying an additional 2,152 shares during the period. 56.39% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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About Southern

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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