Marino Stram & Associates LLC Acquires 919 Shares of Southern Co (NYSE:SO)

Marino Stram & Associates LLC grew its holdings in shares of Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 76.8% in the 1st quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The fund owned 2,115 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 919 shares during the period. Marino Stram & Associates LLC’s holdings in Southern were worth $109,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other hedge funds have also added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Vanguard Group Inc raised its holdings in Southern by 1.7% in the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 77,467,557 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,377,586,000 after acquiring an additional 1,324,658 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in Southern by 0.9% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 68,560,527 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,543,210,000 after purchasing an additional 589,516 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC grew 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 period. Northern Trust Corp grew its position in Southern by 1.1% in the 1st quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 12,148,623 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $627,841,000 after purchasing an additional 135,170 shares during the period. Finally, FMR LLC grew its position in Southern by 20.7% in the 4th quarter. FMR LLC now owns 10,403,435 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $456,919,000 after purchasing an additional 1,785,854 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 56.67% of the company’s stock.

Shares of SO stock traded up $0.26 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $54.81. 116,129 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 4,700,279. The company has a market cap of $56.80 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.86, a PEG ratio of 4.01 and a beta of 0.19. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.37, a current ratio of 0.88 and a quick ratio of 0.69. Southern Co has a 12 month low of $42.50 and a 12 month high of $55.95.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 1st. The utilities provider reported $0.70 EPS for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.70. The business had revenue of $5.41 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.66 billion. Southern had a net margin of 15.03% and a return on equity of 10.37%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 15.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.88 EPS. Equities research analysts expect that Southern Co will post 3.03 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, June 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, May 20th were paid a $0.62 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, May 17th. This represents a $2.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.52%. This is a boost from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.60. Southern’s payout ratio is presently 80.78%.

A number of equities research analysts have commented on the stock. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 14th. ValuEngine raised shares of Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, May 10th. KeyCorp assumed coverage on shares of Southern in a research report on Tuesday, June 4th. They set a “sector weight” rating for the company. Credit Suisse Group set a $51.00 price objective on shares of Southern and gave the company a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, April 22nd. Finally, reissued a “sell” rating on shares of Southern in a research report on Wednesday, February 13th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $48.23.

In other news, CEO William P. Bowers sold 233,477 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, April 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.29, for a total transaction of $11,975,035.33. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 354,212 shares in the company, valued at approximately $18,167,533.48. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Ann P. Daiss sold 7,850 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.06, for a total transaction of $424,371.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 17,862 shares in the company, valued at $965,619.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 708,324 shares of company stock worth $37,841,279. Corporate insiders own 0.88% of the company’s stock.

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About Southern

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.

Further Reading: Cost of Equity For A Business, Investors

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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