Southern Co (NYSE:SO) declared a quarterly dividend on Monday, October 15th, RTT News reports. Shareholders of record on Monday, November 19th will be given a dividend of 0.60 per share by the utilities provider on Thursday, December 6th. This represents a $2.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 5.13%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 16th.

Southern has raised its dividend by an average of 3.4% per year over the last three years and has increased its dividend annually for the last 16 consecutive years. Southern has a dividend payout ratio of 80.5% indicating that its dividend is currently covered by earnings, but may not be in the future if the company’s earnings tumble. Equities analysts expect Southern to earn $3.02 per share next year, which means the company should continue to be able to cover its $2.40 annual dividend with an expected future payout ratio of 79.5%.

Southern stock opened at $46.81 on Friday. Southern has a twelve month low of $42.38 and a twelve month high of $52.65. The stock has a market capitalization of $47.93 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.99, a P/E/G ratio of 3.42 and a beta of -0.09. The company has a current ratio of 0.72, a quick ratio of 0.68 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.48.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, November 7th. The utilities provider reported $1.14 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.07 by $0.07. Southern had a net margin of 10.35% and a return on equity of 12.88%. The firm had revenue of $6.70 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $6.68 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.12 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 8.0% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities analysts forecast that Southern will post 3.02 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 16,371 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.40, for a total transaction of $775,985.40. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 10,165 shares in the company, valued at approximately $481,821. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Company insiders own 0.73% of the company’s stock.

A number of research analysts have issued reports on SO shares. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Southern from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, October 19th. Barclays lowered shares of Southern from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and decreased their target price for the stock from $51.00 to $48.00 in a research report on Thursday, August 9th. Howard Weil started coverage on shares of Southern in a research report on Tuesday, July 24th. They set a “sector perform” rating and a $45.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $49.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, October 9th. Finally, UBS Group increased their target price on shares of Southern from $46.00 to $47.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday, October 29th. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $45.96.

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Southern Company Profile

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.

Further Reading: Technical Analysis

Dividend History for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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