Palisade Asset Management LLC Sells 700 Shares of Southern Co (NYSE:SO)

Palisade Asset Management LLC reduced its stake in shares of Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 1.4% in the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 48,594 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 700 shares during the period. Palisade Asset Management LLC’s holdings in Southern were worth $2,686,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in SO. FMR LLC grew its position in shares of Southern by 24.1% during the 1st quarter. FMR LLC now owns 12,907,022 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $667,035,000 after acquiring an additional 2,503,587 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of Southern by 10.3% during the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 12,763,112 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $559,911,000 after buying an additional 1,188,667 shares in the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System lifted its stake in shares of Southern by 20.6% during the 1st quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 6,398,661 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $330,683,000 after buying an additional 1,095,027 shares in the last quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA lifted its stake in shares of Southern by 9.6% during the 1st quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 9,681,312 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $500,330,000 after buying an additional 849,842 shares in the last quarter. Finally, USS Investment Management Ltd purchased a new stake in Southern in the 1st quarter worth approximately $31,406,000. 56.59% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

In other Southern news, insider Ann P. Daiss sold 3,775 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, June 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.42, for a total value of $212,985.50. Following the sale, the insider now owns 13,787 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $777,862.54. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Ann P. Daiss sold 7,850 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, May 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.06, for a total transaction of $424,371.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 17,862 shares in the company, valued at approximately $965,619.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 750,397 shares of company stock worth $41,266,682. 0.88% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Shares of NYSE:SO traded down $0.72 during trading on Monday, reaching $56.64. The company had a trading volume of 213,290 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,025,573. The company has a fifty day moving average price of $55.80. The stock has a market cap of $59.67 billion, a PE ratio of 18.45, a P/E/G ratio of 4.20 and a beta of 0.18. Southern Co has a 12 month low of $42.50 and a 12 month high of $57.75. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.33, a current ratio of 0.76 and a quick ratio of 0.69.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, July 31st. The utilities provider reported $0.80 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.72 by $0.08. Southern had a net margin of 20.18% and a return on equity of 10.04%. The company had revenue of $5.10 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.12 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.80 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 9.4% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities research analysts predict that Southern Co will post 3.04 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 6th. Investors of record on Monday, August 19th will be issued a dividend of $0.62 per share. This represents a $2.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.38%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, August 16th. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is currently 80.78%.

Several research firms have issued reports on SO. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, May 10th. Evercore ISI upgraded shares of Southern from an “in-line” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, May 3rd. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 21st. Credit Suisse Group set a $51.00 price target on shares of Southern and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, April 22nd. Finally, Mizuho increased their price target on shares of Southern from $48.50 to $55.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, June 13th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. Southern has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $51.36.

Southern Profile

The Southern Company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. It operates in four segments: Gas Distribution Operations, Gas Pipeline Investments, Wholesale Gas Services, and Gas Marketing Services. 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, and Tennessee, as well as provides gas marketing services, wholesale gas services, and gas pipeline investments operations.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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