Haverford Trust Co. trimmed its holdings in Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 23.6% in the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 8,608 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 2,657 shares during the period. Haverford Trust Co.’s holdings in Southern were worth $378,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Vanguard Group Inc increased its holdings in shares of Southern by 1.7% during the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 77,467,557 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,377,586,000 after buying an additional 1,324,658 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Southern by 4.0% during the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 67,971,011 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,985,286,000 after buying an additional 2,593,928 shares in the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp increased its holdings in shares of Southern by 6.5% during the fourth quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 12,013,453 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $527,630,000 after buying an additional 731,642 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its holdings in shares of Southern by 1.9% during the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 10,620,343 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $463,048,000 after buying an additional 193,771 shares in the last quarter. Finally, FMR LLC increased its holdings in shares of Southern by 28.2% during the third quarter. FMR LLC now owns 8,617,581 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $375,726,000 after buying an additional 1,896,970 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 56.76% of the company’s stock.
Several research analysts have recently issued reports on SO shares. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 9th. Guggenheim reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $44.00 price target on shares of Southern in a report on Monday, January 7th. Credit Suisse Group upped their price target on shares of Southern from $44.00 to $46.00 and gave the stock an “underperform” rating in a report on Thursday, December 6th. SunTrust Banks reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $48.00 price target on shares of Southern in a report on Thursday, November 8th. Finally, reissued a “sell” rating on shares of Southern in a research note on Wednesday, February 13th. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $47.00.
Shares of Southern stock opened at $50.49 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 0.67, a quick ratio of 0.58 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.40. Southern Co has a twelve month low of $42.42 and a twelve month high of $50.64. The firm has a market capitalization of $52.11 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.45, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.71 and a beta of 0.19.
Southern (NYSE:SO) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 20th. The utilities provider reported $0.25 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.23 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $5.34 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.88 billion. Southern had a net margin of 9.54% and a return on equity of 11.39%. Southern’s revenue for the quarter was down 5.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.51 earnings per share. As a group, sell-side analysts predict that Southern Co will post 3.03 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, March 6th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, February 19th were given a dividend of $0.60 per share. The ex-dividend date was Friday, February 15th. This represents a $2.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.75%. Southern’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 78.18%.
In related news, Director Henry A. Clark III acquired 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 5th. The shares were bought at an average price of $50.19 per share, with a total value of $100,380.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 2,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $100,380. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Mark Lantrip sold 33,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $49.50, for a total transaction of $1,633,500.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 56,157 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,779,771.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.73% of the company’s stock.
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Southern Company Profile
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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