News stories about Southern (NYSE:SO) have trended somewhat positive this week, according to Alpha One Sentiment Analysis. The research firm, a service of Accern, ranks the sentiment of media coverage by reviewing more than twenty million news and blog sources. Alpha One ranks coverage of publicly-traded companies on a scale of negative one to positive one, with scores closest to one being the most favorable. Southern earned a daily sentiment score of 0.07 on Alpha One’s scale. Alpha One also gave media headlines about the utilities provider an impact score of 69 out of 100, indicating that recent media coverage is likely to have an impact on the company’s share price in the immediate future.
These are some of the news stories that may have effected Alpha One Sentiment Analysis’s rankings:
Shares of Southern (NYSE:SO) traded up 0.56% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $50.07. The stock had a trading volume of 4,593,215 shares. The company has a market capitalization of $49.62 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.64 and a beta of 0.05. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $49.99 and its 200 day moving average price is $49.31. Southern has a 1-year low of $46.20 and a 1-year high of $54.64.
Southern (NYSE:SO) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, May 3rd. The utilities provider reported $0.66 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.58 by $0.08. The firm earned $5.77 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.58 billion. Southern had a return on equity of 12.69% and a net margin of 14.14%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 44.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.58 earnings per share. On average, analysts predict that Southern will post $2.97 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, June 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, May 15th will be given a $0.58 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, May 11th. This is an increase from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.56. This represents a $2.32 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.63%. Southern’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 83.27%.
A number of research analysts have issued reports on the company. Zacks Investment Research cut Southern from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 25th. Argus cut Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, March 3rd. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “buy” rating and set a $56.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a report on Wednesday, April 12th. Barclays PLC reissued a “buy” rating and set a $55.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a report on Friday. Finally, Mizuho reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $49.50 price objective on shares of Southern in a report on Wednesday, April 19th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. Southern has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $51.88.
In other Southern news, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 2,182 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, February 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $50.36, for a total value of $109,885.52. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 10,151 shares in the company, valued at $511,204.36. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CEO Stan W. Connally sold 16,100 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.50, for a total value of $813,050.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 19,424 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $980,912. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.00% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
Southern 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.