Norinchukin Bank The boosted its stake in shares of The Southern Company (NYSE:SO) by 1.7% during the 1st quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 87,905 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 1,458 shares during the period. Norinchukin Bank The’s holdings in The Southern were worth $5,464,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in The Southern by 0.5% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 71,983,321 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $4,474,482,000 after purchasing an additional 343,586 shares in the last quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD lifted its position in shares of The Southern by 5.3% in the fourth quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 38,967,662 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,393,783,000 after acquiring an additional 1,958,409 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC lifted its position in shares of The Southern by 19.0% in the fourth quarter. FMR LLC now owns 19,750,251 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,213,258,000 after acquiring an additional 3,154,842 shares in the last quarter. Swiss National Bank lifted its position in shares of The Southern by 1.7% in the first quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 5,447,519 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $338,618,000 after acquiring an additional 88,600 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. lifted its position in shares of The Southern by 1.1% in the fourth quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. now owns 4,664,133 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $286,518,000 after acquiring an additional 51,687 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 59.09% of the company’s stock.
Several equities research analysts have recently issued reports on SO shares. Barclays lifted their target price on The Southern from $70.00 to $76.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 25th. Mizuho cut their target price on The Southern from $61.00 to $59.00 and set an “underperform” rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday. Argus upped their target price on The Southern from $68.00 to $73.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 19th. Wells Fargo & Company boosted their price target on The Southern from $71.00 to $76.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Monday, April 26th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of The Southern in a report on Wednesday, May 19th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The Southern presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $67.08.
The Southern (NYSE:SO) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 29th. The utilities provider reported $0.98 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.85 by $0.13. The Southern had a return on equity of 11.28% and a net margin of 15.99%. The firm had revenue of $5.91 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.44 billion. Research analysts forecast that The Southern Company will post 3.33 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, June 7th. Investors of record on Monday, May 17th were given a $0.66 dividend. This represents a $2.64 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.13%. This is an increase from The Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.64. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, May 14th. The Southern’s dividend payout ratio is presently 81.23%.
In related news, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 2,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, May 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $66.45, for a total value of $166,125.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 94,151 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,256,333.95. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Ann P. Daiss sold 5,549 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, April 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.75, for a total value of $348,199.75. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 18,666 shares in the company, valued at $1,171,291.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 42,474 shares of company stock worth $2,778,346. 0.43% of the stock is owned by insiders.
The 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 and battery energy storage projects 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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