Principal Financial Group Inc. Increases Stake in Southern Company (The) (SO)

Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its holdings in Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) by 2.3% in the second quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 1,429,786 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 31,878 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. owned approximately 0.14% of Southern Company (The) worth $68,458,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other large investors have also modified their holdings of SO. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC acquired a new position in shares of Southern Company (The) during the second quarter valued at about $100,000. Symmetry Partners LLC acquired a new position in shares of Southern Company (The) during the first quarter valued at about $103,000. Monroe Bank & Trust MI raised its position in shares of Southern Company (The) by 17.9% during the second quarter. Monroe Bank & Trust MI now owns 2,300 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $110,000 after buying an additional 350 shares during the last quarter. Stuart Chaussee & Associates Inc. raised its position in Southern Company (The) by 358.8% in the first quarter. Stuart Chaussee & Associates Inc. now owns 2,225 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $111,000 after purchasing an additional 1,740 shares in the last quarter. Finally, IHT Wealth Management LLC raised its position in Southern Company (The) by 15.3% in the first quarter. IHT Wealth Management LLC now owns 2,281 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $115,000 after purchasing an additional 302 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 53.27% of the company’s stock.

In other news, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 75,144 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.29, for a total value of $3,703,847.76. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 85,298 shares in the company, valued at $4,204,338.42. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Ann P. Daiss sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, October 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.28, for a total transaction of $261,400.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 7,394 shares in the company, valued at approximately $386,558.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 190,295 shares of company stock worth $9,526,798 over the last three months. Insiders own 1.00% of the company’s stock.

Several research analysts recently issued reports on the stock. J P Morgan Chase & Co assumed coverage on shares of Southern Company (The) in a research report on Tuesday, August 8th. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $16.78 price target for the company. SunTrust Banks, Inc. reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $52.00 price objective on shares of Southern Company (The) in a research note on Friday, October 20th. Credit Suisse Group raised shares of Southern Company (The) from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 3rd. Bank of America Corporation reaffirmed an “underperform” rating and set a $51.00 price objective on shares of Southern Company (The) in a research note on Tuesday. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada raised shares of Southern Company (The) from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $53.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Friday, September 29th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $49.72.

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Shares of Southern Company (NYSE SO) opened at 52.06 on Friday. Southern Company has a one year low of $46.20 and a one year high of $52.59. The firm has a market capitalization of $52.03 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 85.63 and a beta of 0.13. The company’s 50 day moving average is $50.13 and its 200-day moving average is $49.46.

Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.73 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.71 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $5.43 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.23 billion. Southern Company (The) had a net margin of 2.93% and a return on equity of 11.30%. Southern Company (The)’s quarterly revenue was up 21.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.74 earnings per share. Equities analysts expect that Southern Company will post $2.94 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, December 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, November 20th will be paid a dividend of $0.58 per share. This represents a $2.32 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.46%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, November 17th. Southern Company (The)’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 346.27%.

Southern Company (The) Profile

The Southern Company (Southern Company) is a holding company. The Company owns all of the stock of the traditional electric operating companies and the parent entities of Southern Power Company (Southern Power) and Southern Company Gas, and owns other direct and indirect subsidiaries. The Company’s segments include Gas distribution operations, Gas marketing services, Wholesale gas services, Gas midstream operations and All other.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO)

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