New England Asset Management Inc. cut its stake in Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 0.8% in the 2nd quarter, Holdings Channel.com reports. The fund owned 90,125 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 700 shares during the quarter. New England Asset Management Inc.’s holdings in Southern were worth $4,982,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Krane Funds Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Southern in the 2nd quarter valued at $25,000. Thor Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Southern in the 1st quarter valued at $26,000. Atlantic Trust LLC bought a new position in shares of Southern in the 2nd quarter valued at $28,000. Capital Advisors Ltd. LLC increased its stake in shares of Southern by 200.0% in the 2nd quarter. Capital Advisors Ltd. LLC now owns 600 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $33,000 after purchasing an additional 400 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Advisory Alpha LLC bought a new position in shares of Southern in the 1st quarter valued at $43,000. 58.36% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
In other news, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 2,000 shares of Southern stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, July 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.00, for a total transaction of $112,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 73,772 shares in the company, valued at $4,131,232. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Ann P. Daiss sold 3,775 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.42, for a total transaction of $212,985.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 13,787 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $777,862.54. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 59,775 shares of company stock valued at $3,514,566 over the last 90 days. 0.88% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
SO has been the topic of several recent analyst reports. ValuEngine lowered Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 6th. UBS Group raised their target price on Southern from $58.00 to $62.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Friday, September 6th. SunTrust Banks set a $59.00 target price on Southern and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 3rd. KeyCorp initiated coverage on Southern in a research note on Tuesday, June 4th. They issued a “sector weight” rating on the stock. Finally, Morgan Stanley cut their target price on Southern from $55.00 to $54.00 and set an “underweight” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, August 16th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $55.70.
SO traded up $0.05 on Friday, hitting $61.11. The company had a trading volume of 7,474,800 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,914,429. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.33, a current ratio of 0.76 and a quick ratio of 0.59. Southern Co has a 52-week low of $42.50 and a 52-week high of $61.25. The stock has a fifty day simple moving average of $58.50 and a 200-day simple moving average of $54.84. The firm has a market capitalization of $63.25 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.91, a P/E/G ratio of 4.44 and a beta of 0.17.
Southern (NYSE:SO) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 31st. The utilities provider reported $0.80 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.72 by $0.08. Southern had a net margin of 20.18% and a return on equity of 10.04%. The business had revenue of $5.10 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.12 billion. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.80 earnings per share. Southern’s quarterly revenue was down 9.4% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts expect that Southern Co will post 3.04 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, August 19th were issued a $0.62 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Friday, August 16th. This represents a $2.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.06%. Southern’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 80.78%.
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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