Southern (NYSE:SO) Given Coverage Optimism Rating of 0.12

Headlines about Southern (NYSE:SO) have been trending somewhat positive this week, according to Accern Sentiment. Accern rates the sentiment of media coverage by analyzing more than 20 million news and blog sources. Accern 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 0.12 on Accern’s scale. Accern also gave headlines about the utilities provider an impact score of 46.0333684644378 out of 100, meaning that recent media coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an impact on the company’s share price in the near future.

Here are some of the news headlines that may have effected Accern’s rankings:

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Shares of Southern (NYSE SO) opened at $44.64 on Thursday. The stock has a market capitalization of $44,893.32, a P/E ratio of 52.52, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.42 and a beta of 0.07. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.84, a current ratio of 0.74 and a quick ratio of 0.59. Southern has a 52 week low of $42.38 and a 52 week high of $53.51.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, February 21st. The utilities provider reported $0.51 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.46 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $5.63 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.17 billion. Southern had a return on equity of 11.96% and a net margin of 3.82%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 8.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.24 earnings per share. equities research analysts forecast that Southern will post 2.9 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, March 6th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, February 20th were paid a dividend of $0.58 per share. The ex-dividend date was Friday, February 16th. This represents a $2.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.20%. Southern’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 272.94%.

A number of research analysts have issued reports on the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. began coverage on Southern in a research note on Friday, January 12th. They issued an “underweight” rating and a $46.00 target price for the company. Mizuho reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $52.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a research report on Tuesday, December 26th. SunTrust Banks reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $45.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a research report on Tuesday, March 6th. Morgan Stanley reduced their price objective on Southern from $48.00 to $44.00 and set an “underweight” rating for the company in a research report on Tuesday, February 13th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group reissued an “underperform” rating and set a $45.00 price target (down from $46.00) on shares of Southern in a research report on Tuesday, February 27th. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $49.41.

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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.

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