Brokers Issue Forecasts for Southern Company (The)’s Q4 2017 Earnings (SO)

Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) – Stock analysts at SunTrust Banks lifted their Q4 2017 earnings per share estimates for shares of Southern Company (The) in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday. SunTrust Banks analyst A. Agha now forecasts that the utilities provider will post earnings per share of $0.50 for the quarter, up from their previous estimate of $0.27. SunTrust Banks also issued estimates for Southern Company (The)’s Q1 2018 earnings at $0.67 EPS, Q3 2018 earnings at $1.08 EPS and Q4 2018 earnings at $0.51 EPS.

Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.73 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.71 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $5.43 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.23 billion. Southern Company (The) had a net margin of 2.93% and a return on equity of 11.30%. Southern Company (The)’s revenue was up 21.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.74 earnings per share.

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SO has been the topic of several other research reports. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $55.00 price target (down previously from $56.00) on shares of Southern Company (The) in a report on Thursday, May 4th. Deutsche Bank AG reduced their price target on Southern Company (The) from $52.00 to $50.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, April 11th. BidaskClub upgraded Southern Company (The) from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, July 24th. Barclays PLC reiterated an “overweight” rating and set a $56.00 price target (up previously from $53.00) on shares of Southern Company (The) in a report on Sunday, April 23rd. Finally, Mizuho reiterated a “neutral” rating and set a $49.50 price target on shares of Southern Company (The) in a report on Wednesday, April 19th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $51.54.

Shares of Southern Company (SO) opened at 48.9946 on Monday. The stock has a market cap of $48.97 billion, a P/E ratio of 80.5832 and a beta of 0.12. Southern Company has a 1-year low of $46.20 and a 1-year high of $53.73. The company’s 50-day moving average is $48.60 and its 200-day moving average is $49.48.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, September 6th. Investors of record on Monday, August 21st will be issued a $0.58 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, August 17th. This represents a $2.32 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.73%. Southern Company (The)’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 346.27%.

In related news, insider Ann P. Daiss sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.28, for a total value of $256,400.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 7,394 shares in the company, valued at approximately $379,164.32. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Art P. Beattie sold 46,940 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, June 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.50, for a total transaction of $2,417,410.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 59,493 shares in the company, valued at $3,063,889.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 152,084 shares of company stock worth $7,665,158. 0.74% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in Southern Company (The) by 2,961.9% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 62,067,822 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,089,736,000 after buying an additional 60,040,696 shares in the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. increased its position in Southern Company (The) by 205.4% in the first quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 8,803,018 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $438,168,000 after buying an additional 5,920,212 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in Southern Company (The) by 4.1% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 68,758,138 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,422,780,000 after buying an additional 2,688,854 shares in the last quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board increased its position in Southern Company (The) by 876.2% in the first quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 1,074,910 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $53,509,000 after buying an additional 964,800 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Swiss National Bank increased its position in Southern Company (The) by 20.3% in the first quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 4,978,424 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $247,826,000 after buying an additional 841,100 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 53.57% of the company’s stock.

Southern Company (The) Company Profile

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.

Earnings History and Estimates for Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO)

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