Wedbush Securities Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 2.0% during the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 33,189 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after buying an additional 648 shares during the period. Wedbush Securities Inc.’s holdings in Southern were worth $1,835,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Other large investors have also bought and sold shares of the company. FMR LLC increased its position in Southern by 24.1% in the 1st quarter. FMR LLC now owns 12,907,022 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $667,035,000 after purchasing an additional 2,503,587 shares during the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC increased its position in Southern by 10.3% in the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 12,763,112 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $559,911,000 after purchasing an additional 1,188,667 shares during the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System increased its position in Southern by 20.6% in the 1st quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 6,398,661 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $330,683,000 after purchasing an additional 1,095,027 shares during the last quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA increased its position in Southern by 9.6% in the 1st quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 9,681,312 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $500,330,000 after purchasing an additional 849,842 shares during the last quarter. Finally, USS Investment Management Ltd acquired a new position in Southern in the 1st quarter worth about $31,406,000. 56.66% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
In related news, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.50, for a total transaction of $107,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 75,772 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,053,802. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP James Y. Kerr II sold 25,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $58.16, for a total value of $1,454,000.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 67,655 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,934,814.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 769,547 shares of company stock worth $42,411,331. 0.88% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Several brokerages have weighed in on SO. Mizuho upped their target price on Southern from $48.50 to $55.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, June 13th. Evercore ISI raised Southern from an “in-line” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, May 3rd. Credit Suisse Group set a $51.00 target price on Southern and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, April 22nd. Bank of America dropped their target price on Southern from $61.00 to $60.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, August 1st. Finally, KeyCorp began coverage on Southern in a research report on Tuesday, June 4th. They issued a “sector weight” rating on the stock. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $52.10.
Shares of NYSE SO traded down $1.01 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $57.67. 6,185,347 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 4,574,677. The company has a current ratio of 0.76, a quick ratio of 0.59 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.33. The stock has a market cap of $60.68 billion, a PE ratio of 18.79, a PEG ratio of 4.28 and a beta of 0.18. The company’s fifty day moving average is $56.22. Southern Co has a fifty-two week low of $42.50 and a fifty-two week high of $58.78.
Southern (NYSE:SO) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 31st. The utilities provider reported $0.80 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.72 by $0.08. The business had revenue of $5.10 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.12 billion. Southern had a return on equity of 10.04% and a net margin of 20.18%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 9.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.80 EPS. As a group, sell-side analysts predict that Southern Co will post 3.03 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 6th. Stockholders of record on Monday, August 19th will be issued a dividend of $0.62 per share. This represents a $2.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.30%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, August 16th. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is 80.78%.
The Southern Company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. It operates in four segments: Gas Distribution Operations, Gas Pipeline Investments, Wholesale Gas Services, and Gas Marketing Services. 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, and Tennessee, as well as provides gas marketing services, wholesale gas services, and gas pipeline investments operations.
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