Southern (SO) Stake Lessened by Oakworth Capital Inc.

Oakworth Capital Inc. reduced its position in shares of Southern (NYSE:SO) by 17.6% in the 1st quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 34,126 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 7,288 shares during the period. Southern comprises approximately 0.4% of Oakworth Capital Inc.’s portfolio, making the stock its 29th largest position. Oakworth Capital Inc.’s holdings in Southern were worth $1,573,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. raised its stake in Southern by 4.4% during the 4th quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 3,636,723 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $174,891,000 after acquiring an additional 153,320 shares in the last quarter. Cornerstone Financial Partners LLC acquired a new stake in Southern during the 4th quarter worth $563,000. Norris Perne & French LLP MI raised its stake in Southern by 1.4% during the 4th quarter. Norris Perne & French LLP MI now owns 170,986 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $8,223,000 after acquiring an additional 2,299 shares in the last quarter. Ascension Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in Southern during the 4th quarter worth $267,000. Finally, Boston Advisors LLC raised its stake in Southern by 14.2% during the 4th quarter. Boston Advisors LLC now owns 13,412 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $645,000 after acquiring an additional 1,665 shares in the last quarter. 56.97% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of Southern stock opened at $42.73 on Monday. Southern has a 52-week low of $42.38 and a 52-week high of $53.51. The company has a current ratio of 0.70, a quick ratio of 0.55 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.71. The stock has a market cap of $43.23 billion, a PE ratio of 14.15, a PEG ratio of 3.28 and a beta of 0.01.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.88 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.84 by $0.04. Southern had a net margin of 4.88% and a return on equity of 12.97%. The business had revenue of $6.37 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.98 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.66 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 10.4% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts anticipate that Southern will post 2.89 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, June 6th. Stockholders of record on Monday, May 21st will be paid a dividend of $0.60 per share. This represents a $2.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 5.62%. This is a positive change from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.58. The ex-dividend date is Friday, May 18th. Southern’s payout ratio is 76.82%.

Several brokerages recently commented on SO. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Southern from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 1st. Credit Suisse Group lifted their price objective on shares of Southern to $45.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, May 7th. Morgan Stanley dropped their price objective on shares of Southern from $48.00 to $44.00 and set an “underweight” rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, February 13th. JPMorgan Chase lifted their price objective on shares of Southern from $43.00 to $45.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 10th. Finally, TheStreet lowered shares of Southern from a “b-” rating to a “c” rating in a research note on Monday, March 26th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Southern has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $49.17.

About Southern

The Southern Company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. 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, New Jersey, Florida, Tennessee, and Maryland, as well as provides gas marketing services, wholesale gas services, and gas midstream operations.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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