Alpha Cubed Investments LLC trimmed its position in shares of Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 8.0% during the 4th quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 13,034 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 1,134 shares during the quarter. Alpha Cubed Investments LLC’s holdings in Southern were worth $830,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in SO. Merit Financial Group LLC raised its holdings in Southern by 1.2% in the 4th quarter. Merit Financial Group LLC now owns 14,325 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $913,000 after purchasing an additional 165 shares during the period. Farmers Trust Co. increased its stake in Southern by 1.2% in the 3rd quarter. Farmers Trust Co. now owns 14,410 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $890,000 after buying an additional 172 shares in the last quarter. ZWJ Investment Counsel Inc. increased its stake in Southern by 0.7% in the 3rd quarter. ZWJ Investment Counsel Inc. now owns 24,925 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,540,000 after buying an additional 175 shares in the last quarter. Capital Advisors Ltd. LLC increased its stake in Southern by 30.0% in the 3rd quarter. Capital Advisors Ltd. LLC now owns 780 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $48,000 after buying an additional 180 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Washington Trust Bank increased its stake in Southern by 1.5% in the 3rd quarter. Washington Trust Bank now owns 12,945 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $799,000 after buying an additional 189 shares in the last quarter. 58.97% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
A number of equities research analysts have issued reports on SO shares. Evercore ISI reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $63.50 price target on shares of Southern in a research note on Sunday, December 15th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased their price target on Southern from $63.00 to $64.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 18th. SunTrust Banks increased their price target on Southern from $60.00 to $63.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 18th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group increased their price target on Southern from $60.00 to $64.00 and gave the stock an “underperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 18th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and ten have given a hold rating to the company’s stock. Southern currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $59.77.
Shares of SO stock opened at $67.26 on Friday. Southern Co has a 52-week low of $46.49 and a 52-week high of $67.33. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.37, a quick ratio of 0.77 and a current ratio of 0.94. The firm has a market capitalization of $69.37 billion, a PE ratio of 15.29, a PEG ratio of 4.63 and a beta of 0.15. The stock has a fifty day simple moving average of $62.93 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $60.28.
Southern (NYSE:SO) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 30th. The utilities provider reported $1.34 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.20. The business 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 revenue for the quarter was down 2.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.14 EPS. On average, sell-side analysts forecast that Southern Co will post 3.1 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 6th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, February 18th will be given a dividend of $0.62 per share. This represents a $2.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.69%. Southern’s payout ratio is 80.78%.
In other news, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.22, for a total transaction of $124,440.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 65,772 shares in the company, valued at $4,092,333.84. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CEO Thomas A. Fanning sold 2,066,499 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, December 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.99, for a total value of $130,168,772.01. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 1,236,147 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $77,864,899.53. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 2,218,238 shares of company stock valued at $139,737,603. Company insiders own 0.88% of the company’s stock.
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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