Morningstar Investment Services LLC lessened its position in Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 15.8% in the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 870,463 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 163,738 shares during the period. Morningstar Investment Services LLC’s holdings in Southern were worth $38,875,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Several other large investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Columbia Asset Management raised its position in shares of Southern by 4.1% in the fourth quarter. Columbia Asset Management now owns 29,783 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,432,000 after buying an additional 1,175 shares during the last quarter. TIAA FSB raised its position in shares of Southern by 1.8% in the fourth quarter. TIAA FSB now owns 68,490 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,294,000 after buying an additional 1,189 shares during the last quarter. Boys Arnold & Co. Inc. raised its position in shares of Southern by 10.8% in the first quarter. Boys Arnold & Co. Inc. now owns 12,322 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $557,000 after buying an additional 1,199 shares during the last quarter. Argyle Capital Management Inc. raised its position in shares of Southern by 8.4% in the fourth quarter. Argyle Capital Management Inc. now owns 15,565 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $749,000 after buying an additional 1,200 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Jacobi Capital Management LLC raised its position in shares of Southern by 47.2% in the first quarter. Jacobi Capital Management LLC now owns 3,743 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $165,000 after buying an additional 1,201 shares during the last quarter. 56.97% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
SO opened at $44.25 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.55, a current ratio of 0.70 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.71. Southern Co has a 52-week low of $42.38 and a 52-week high of $53.51. The company has a market cap of $44.50 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.65, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.03 and a beta of 0.01.
Southern (NYSE:SO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.88 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.84 by $0.04. Southern had a net margin of 4.88% and a return on equity of 12.97%. The company had revenue of $6.37 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.98 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.66 earnings per share. Southern’s revenue for the quarter was up 10.4% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts predict that Southern Co will post 2.9 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, June 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, May 21st will be paid a dividend of $0.60 per share. This is an increase from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.58. This represents a $2.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 5.42%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, May 18th. Southern’s payout ratio is currently 79.47%.
SO has been the subject of several research analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Southern from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 24th. SunTrust Banks reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $45.00 price target on shares of Southern in a research report on Tuesday, March 6th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upped their price target on shares of Southern from $43.00 to $45.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 10th. Morgan Stanley upped their price target on shares of Southern from $44.00 to $45.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research report on Monday, April 16th. Finally, Guggenheim reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $51.00 price target on shares of Southern in a research report on Friday, February 23rd. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $49.10.
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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