Southern (SO) Earns Media Sentiment Rating of 0.12

Media stories about Southern (NYSE:SO) have trended somewhat positive on Wednesday, Accern Sentiment Analysis reports. The research group identifies positive and negative media coverage by monitoring more than twenty million blog and news sources. Accern ranks coverage of publicly-traded companies on a scale of -1 to 1, with scores nearest to one being the most favorable. Southern earned a media sentiment score of 0.12 on Accern’s scale. Accern also gave media coverage about the utilities provider an impact score of 46.1851512712234 out of 100, meaning that recent media coverage is somewhat unlikely to have an impact on the company’s share price in the next several days.

These are some of the news headlines that may have impacted Accern Sentiment’s scoring:

Shares of Southern (SO) traded up $0.46 on Wednesday, hitting $44.05. The stock had a trading volume of 4,019,376 shares, compared to its average volume of 8,060,000. The company has a market cap of $44,410.00, a P/E ratio of 78.66, a PEG ratio of 3.35 and a beta of 0.07. The company has a current ratio of 0.74, a quick ratio of 0.59 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.84. 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 results on Wednesday, February 21st. The utilities provider reported $0.51 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate 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 revenue for the quarter was up 8.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.24 EPS. equities research analysts expect that Southern will post 2.9 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, March 6th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, February 20th were given 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 dividend yield of 5.27%. Southern’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 414.29%.

Several research analysts have recently weighed in on SO shares. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Southern from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, January 15th. Goldman Sachs Group restated a “sell” rating on shares of Southern in a research note on Wednesday, January 10th. Mizuho restated a “buy” rating and issued a $52.00 target price on shares of Southern in a research note on Tuesday, December 26th. 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. Finally, Guggenheim restated a “buy” rating and issued a $52.00 target price on shares of Southern in a research note on Wednesday, January 3rd. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target 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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