National Asset Management Inc. cut its position in shares of Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 43.8% in the 1st quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 20,578 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 16,035 shares during the quarter. National Asset Management Inc.’s holdings in Southern were worth $1,116,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other large investors have also recently made changes to their positions in SO. Howland Capital Management LLC increased its stake in Southern by 23.5% during the fourth quarter. Howland Capital Management LLC now owns 4,343 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $277,000 after acquiring an additional 826 shares during the last quarter. J.W. Cole Advisors Inc. acquired a new stake in Southern during the fourth quarter worth about $2,063,000. Advisor Partners LLC increased its stake in Southern by 8.4% during the fourth quarter. Advisor Partners LLC now owns 32,915 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,159,000 after acquiring an additional 2,560 shares during the last quarter. Peddock Capital Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Southern during the fourth quarter worth about $54,000. Finally, Sumitomo Life Insurance Co. increased its stake in Southern by 6.0% during the fourth quarter. Sumitomo Life Insurance Co. now owns 45,878 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,922,000 after acquiring an additional 2,579 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 58.84% of the company’s stock.
A number of research firms have recently issued reports on SO. Argus upgraded Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $66.00 target price for the company in a research note on Monday, April 13th. Wolfe Research upgraded Southern from an “underperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research note on Thursday, March 12th. ValuEngine lowered Southern from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, February 28th. UBS Group lowered Southern from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating and increased their target price for the company from $54.00 to $63.00 in a research note on Thursday. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $67.00 target price on shares of Southern in a research note on Thursday, April 30th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $61.90.
In other Southern news, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 9,843 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $67.99, for a total transaction of $669,225.57. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 18,146 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,233,746.54. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, Director Ernest J. Moniz bought 3,500 shares of Southern stock in a transaction on Monday, May 4th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $54.72 per share, for a total transaction of $191,520.00. Following the acquisition, the director now owns 3,500 shares in the company, valued at $191,520. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 13,843 shares of company stock worth $881,346. 0.39% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
SO traded up $0.75 on Friday, reaching $54.58. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 4,407,150 shares, compared to its average volume of 5,260,371. The stock has a market cap of $56.90 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.24, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.26 and a beta of 0.44. Southern Co has a 1 year low of $41.96 and a 1 year high of $71.10. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.44, a current ratio of 0.99 and a quick ratio of 0.78. The business’s 50 day moving average is $55.58 and its 200 day moving average is $61.17.
Southern (NYSE:SO) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 30th. The utilities provider reported $0.78 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.71 by $0.07. Southern had a return on equity of 10.57% and a net margin of 16.83%. The firm had revenue of $5.02 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.45 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.70 earnings per share. Southern’s revenue for the quarter was down 7.3% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts forecast that Southern Co will post 3.16 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 8th. Shareholders of record on Monday, May 18th will be issued a dividend of $0.64 per share. This represents a $2.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.69%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, May 15th. This is an increase from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.62. Southern’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 82.32%.
Southern Company Profile
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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