NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Jefferies increased its price target on Southern Co. (SO) - Get Report to $49 from $47 and maintained its "hold" rating on the stock on Thursday morning.

The higher price target comes after the Atlanta-based utility holding company reported its 2015 fourth quarter earnings results yesterday.

The company's strong earnings results were driven by rate relief and lower O&M expenses, the firm noted.

"We believe that Southern Company, an integrated electric company with an above average dividend yield is fairly valued given the overhang that will exist on the stock until it completes the Kemper County IGCC project and the Vogtle Nuclear Plant expansion," Jefferies said in an analyst note.

The energy company serves more than 4.5 million customers in the southeastern U.S. through its subsidiaries.

Shares of Southern are down by 0.43% to $48.30 on heavy trading volume late Thursday afternoon.

About 6.45 million of the company's shares changed hands by this afternoon, compared to its average volume of 5.65 million shares per day.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings Team has a "buy" rating with a score of A- on the stock.

This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks rated by the team.

The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations.

The team believes its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that were evaluated.

Recently, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: SO

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