Southern Company (The) Target of Unusually Large Options Trading (SO)

Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) was the target of unusually large options trading activity on Thursday. Traders acquired 22,318 call options on the stock. This is an increase of approximately Infinity compared to the typical daily volume of 0 call options.

Southern Company (NYSE SO) opened at $50.97 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 0.73, a quick ratio of 0.57 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.73. Southern Company has a 52-week low of $46.20 and a 52-week high of $53.51. The stock has a market cap of $52,130.00, a PE ratio of 19.02, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.73 and a beta of 0.15.

Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The utilities provider reported $1.12 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.08 by $0.04. Southern Company (The) had a net margin of 2.59% and a return on equity of 10.81%. The company had revenue of $6.20 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $6.16 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.27 EPS. The company’s revenue was down 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts anticipate that Southern Company will post 2.95 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, December 6th. Stockholders of record on Monday, November 20th will be paid a $0.58 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 17th. This represents a $2.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.55%. Southern Company (The)’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 414.29%.

In other news, insider Ann P. Daiss sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, October 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.28, for a total value of $261,400.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 7,394 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $386,558.32. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 46,641 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.00, for a total transaction of $2,471,973.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 56,799 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,010,347. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 213,813 shares of company stock worth $11,029,988. 1.00% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Captrust Financial Advisors bought a new stake in shares of Southern Company (The) in the 2nd quarter valued at about $854,000. Fiera Capital Corp increased its stake in shares of Southern Company (The) by 4.3% in the 2nd quarter. Fiera Capital Corp now owns 34,294 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,642,000 after acquiring an additional 1,399 shares during the last quarter. Jackson Grant Investment Advisers Inc. increased its stake in shares of Southern Company (The) by 1.2% in the 2nd quarter. Jackson Grant Investment Advisers Inc. now owns 3,317 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $159,000 after acquiring an additional 38 shares during the last quarter. Pathstone Family Office LLC bought a new stake in shares of Southern Company (The) in the 1st quarter valued at about $170,000. Finally, Epoch Investment Partners Inc. increased its stake in shares of Southern Company (The) by 5.0% in the 1st quarter. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. now owns 3,249,597 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $161,765,000 after acquiring an additional 154,093 shares during the last quarter. 52.88% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Several research firms have recently weighed in on SO. J P Morgan Chase & Co assumed coverage on shares of Southern Company (The) in a report on Tuesday, August 8th. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $16.78 target price on the stock. SunTrust Banks, Inc. reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $52.00 price target on shares of Southern Company (The) in a research report on Friday, October 20th. Credit Suisse Group upgraded shares of Southern Company (The) from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. Bank of America Corporation reiterated an “underperform” rating and set a $51.00 price target on shares of Southern Company (The) in a research report on Tuesday, October 24th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada upgraded shares of Southern Company (The) from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $53.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Friday, September 29th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $49.72.

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About Southern Company (The)

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.

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