Investors Purchase Large Volume of Call Options on Southern (NYSE:SO)

Southern Co (NYSE:SO) was the target of unusually large options trading on Thursday. Investors purchased 194,283 call options on the company. This is an increase of 7,753% compared to the typical daily volume of 2,474 call options.

In other news, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 123,533 shares of Southern stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.87, for a total transaction of $7,642,986.71. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 191,305 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $11,836,040.35. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 2,000 shares of Southern stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $58.28, for a total value of $116,560.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 69,772 shares in the company, valued at $4,066,312.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 177,533 shares of company stock worth $10,941,987. Corporate insiders own 0.88% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Lenox Wealth Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Southern during the third quarter valued at approximately $25,000. KCS Wealth Advisory bought a new position in shares of Southern during the third quarter valued at approximately $25,000. Krane Funds Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Southern during the second quarter valued at approximately $25,000. Atlantic Trust LLC bought a new position in shares of Southern during the second quarter valued at approximately $28,000. Finally, Salomon & Ludwin LLC bought a new position in shares of Southern during the second quarter valued at approximately $29,000. 58.21% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

A number of brokerages have recently issued reports on SO. UBS Group lifted their target price on Southern from $58.00 to $62.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, September 6th. SunTrust Banks set a $59.00 target price on Southern and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 3rd. Citigroup lifted their target price on Southern from $55.00 to $61.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 29th. Bank of America lifted their target price on Southern from $60.00 to $64.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, September 12th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 6th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Southern currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $56.80.

Shares of Southern stock opened at $62.20 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.77, a current ratio of 0.94 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.37. The firm has a market cap of $63.65 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.26, a P/E/G ratio of 4.36 and a beta of 0.15. Southern has a fifty-two week low of $42.50 and a fifty-two week high of $63.09. The business has a 50-day moving average price of $61.57 and a 200 day moving average price of $57.56.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 30th. The utilities provider reported $1.34 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.20. The firm had revenue of $6 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $6.01 billion. Southern had a return on equity of 10.52% and a net margin of 21.02%. Southern’s quarterly revenue was down 2.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.14 earnings per share. As a group, equities research analysts anticipate that Southern will post 3.09 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 6th. Investors of record on Monday, November 18th will be issued a $0.62 dividend. This represents a $2.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.99%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, November 15th. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is currently 80.78%.

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.

Featured Article: Which market index is the best?

Receive News & Ratings for Southern Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Southern and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.