Viking Fund Management LLC lifted its holdings in Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) by 10.7% in the third quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 101,400 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 9,800 shares during the quarter. Viking Fund Management LLC’s holdings in Southern were worth $4,983,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently modified their holdings of SO. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in Southern by 3.3% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 71,053,604 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,402,047,000 after buying an additional 2,295,466 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in shares of Southern by 2,961.9% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 62,067,822 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,089,736,000 after purchasing an additional 60,040,696 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp grew its position in shares of Southern by 1.1% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 48,900,251 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,434,244,000 after purchasing an additional 515,397 shares in the last quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. grew its position in shares of Southern by 3.6% in the second quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 22,379,839 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,071,547,000 after purchasing an additional 770,413 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Capital Research Global Investors lifted its holdings in Southern by 25.3% in the second quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 14,940,226 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $715,338,000 after acquiring an additional 3,015,226 shares during the last quarter. 53.78% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
In related news, insider Ann P. Daiss sold 5,080 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.28, for a total transaction of $270,662.40. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 7,474 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $398,214.72. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, CEO William P. Bowers sold 85,151 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.00, for a total transaction of $4,257,550.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 213,813 shares of company stock worth $11,029,988 in the last quarter. 1.00% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
Shares of Southern Company (NYSE:SO) traded up $0.44 on Thursday, hitting $51.33. 6,637,859 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 4,684,554. The firm has a market cap of $50,542.71, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.31, a PEG ratio of 4.55 and a beta of 0.13. Southern Company has a 52 week low of $46.58 and a 52 week high of $53.51. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.73, a quick ratio of 0.57 and a current ratio of 0.73.
Southern (NYSE:SO) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The utilities provider reported $1.12 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.08 by $0.04. Southern had a net margin of 2.59% and a return on equity of 10.81%. The business had revenue of $6.20 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $6.16 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.27 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 1.0% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts anticipate that Southern Company will post 2.95 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, December 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, November 20th were issued a $0.58 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Friday, November 17th. This represents a $2.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.52%. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is currently 414.29%.
A number of research analysts recently commented on SO shares. Zacks Investment Research cut Southern from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, September 11th. Guggenheim upgraded Southern from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their price target for the stock from $49.00 to $56.00 in a research note on Thursday, September 14th. Mizuho upgraded Southern from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $53.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, September 5th. KeyCorp reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Southern in a research report on Friday, September 1st. Finally, SunTrust Banks reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $52.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a research report on Friday, October 20th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $49.72.
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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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