BKS Advisors LLC reduced its position in shares of Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 43.0% in the 1st quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 4,631 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 3,500 shares during the period. BKS Advisors LLC’s holdings in Southern were worth $239,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Several other hedge funds have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Vanguard Group Inc boosted its position in shares of Southern by 1.7% during the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 77,467,557 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,377,586,000 after buying an additional 1,324,658 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in shares of Southern by 4.0% during the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 67,971,011 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,985,286,000 after buying an additional 2,593,928 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Southern by 10.3% during the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 12,763,112 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $559,911,000 after buying an additional 1,188,667 shares during the period. Northern Trust Corp boosted its position in shares of Southern by 6.5% during the fourth quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 12,013,453 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $527,630,000 after buying an additional 731,642 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its position in shares of Southern by 1.9% during the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 10,620,343 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $463,048,000 after buying an additional 193,771 shares during the period. 56.89% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
Shares of NYSE SO opened at $52.39 on Wednesday. Southern Co has a 52 week low of $42.42 and a 52 week high of $52.98. The company has a quick ratio of 0.54, a current ratio of 0.67 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.40. The company has a market cap of $54.98 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.07, a P/E/G ratio of 3.85 and a beta of 0.20.
Southern (NYSE:SO) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 20th. The utilities provider reported $0.25 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.23 by $0.02. Southern had a return on equity of 11.39% and a net margin of 9.54%. The firm had revenue of $5.34 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.88 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.51 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 5.2% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities research analysts anticipate that Southern Co will post 3.03 EPS for the current year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 6th. Investors of record on Monday, May 20th will be given a dividend of $0.62 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, May 17th. This is a boost from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.60. This represents a $2.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.73%. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is 78.18%.
SO has been the subject of several recent research reports. Zacks Investment Research cut Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 9th. Guggenheim reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $44.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a research report on Monday, January 7th. reaffirmed a “sell” rating on shares of Southern in a research report on Wednesday, February 13th. Citigroup raised Southern from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and upped their price objective for the stock from $45.00 to $50.00 in a research report on Thursday, January 24th. Finally, SunTrust Banks reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $52.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a research report on Monday, February 25th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company. Southern currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $47.15.
In related news, insider Mark Lantrip sold 33,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, February 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $49.50, for a total transaction of $1,633,500.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 56,157 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,779,771.50. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CEO William P. Bowers sold 90,942 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, February 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.60, for a total value of $4,419,781.20. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 177,043 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,604,289.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 383,341 shares of company stock valued at $19,342,988 over the last three months. Insiders own 0.73% of the company’s stock.
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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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