Commerce Bank increased its stake in Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 6.6% in the 1st quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 104,311 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 6,443 shares during the quarter. Commerce Bank’s holdings in Southern were worth $5,648,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Other hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Sowa Financial Group Inc. acquired a new stake in Southern during the 4th quarter worth about $25,000. RMR Wealth Builders acquired a new stake in Southern during the 4th quarter worth about $25,000. Barnett & Company Inc. acquired a new stake in Southern during the 1st quarter worth about $27,000. Valley National Advisers Inc. raised its holdings in Southern by 49.0% during the 4th quarter. Valley National Advisers Inc. now owns 447 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $28,000 after buying an additional 147 shares during the period. Finally, Engrave Wealth Partners LLC acquired a new stake in Southern during the 4th quarter worth about $31,000. 58.84% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
In other Southern news, Director Ernest J. Moniz acquired 3,500 shares of Southern stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 4th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $54.72 per share, with a total value of $191,520.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 3,500 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $191,520. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 9,843 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $67.99, for a total value of $669,225.57. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 18,146 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,233,746.54. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 13,843 shares of company stock valued at $881,346 in the last ninety days. Company insiders own 0.39% of the company’s stock.
NYSE:SO opened at $54.58 on Friday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $55.58 and its 200 day moving average price is $61.17. Southern Co has a 52 week low of $41.96 and a 52 week high of $71.10. The company has a market capitalization of $56.90 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.88, a P/E/G ratio of 4.26 and a beta of 0.44. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.44, a quick ratio of 0.78 and a current ratio of 0.99.
Southern (NYSE:SO) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, April 30th. The utilities provider reported $0.78 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.71 by $0.07. The firm had revenue of $5.02 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.45 billion. Southern had a return on equity of 10.57% and a net margin of 16.83%. The company’s revenue was down 7.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.70 earnings per share. As a group, sell-side analysts forecast that Southern Co will post 3.16 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 8th. Shareholders of record on Monday, May 18th will be given a dividend of $0.64 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, May 15th. This represents a $2.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.69%. This is a boost from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.62. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is presently 82.32%.
Several research firms have issued reports on SO. ValuEngine downgraded Southern from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, February 28th. Wolfe Research upgraded Southern from an “underperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a report on Thursday, March 12th. Argus upgraded Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $66.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Monday, April 13th. Credit Suisse Group upgraded Southern from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and boosted their price objective for the stock from $60.00 to $61.00 in a report on Monday, May 4th. Finally, Morgan Stanley dropped their target price on Southern from $57.00 to $52.00 and set an “underweight” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, May 15th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $61.90.
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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