Means Investment CO. Inc. lowered its stake in The Southern Company (NYSE:SO) by 11.0% during the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 6,377 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 789 shares during the quarter. Means Investment CO. Inc.’s holdings in The Southern were worth $396,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.
A number of other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in SO. JustInvest LLC lifted its holdings in The Southern by 15.3% in the 4th quarter. JustInvest LLC now owns 4,539 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $279,000 after purchasing an additional 604 shares in the last quarter. Stratos Wealth Partners LTD. lifted its holdings in The Southern by 8.9% in the 4th quarter. Stratos Wealth Partners LTD. now owns 51,518 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,165,000 after purchasing an additional 4,194 shares in the last quarter. Insight Folios Inc lifted its holdings in The Southern by 5.8% in the 4th quarter. Insight Folios Inc now owns 60,623 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,724,000 after purchasing an additional 3,342 shares in the last quarter. Signet Financial Management LLC lifted its holdings in The Southern by 3.4% in the 4th quarter. Signet Financial Management LLC now owns 5,767 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $354,000 after purchasing an additional 191 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Donaldson Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in The Southern by 32.5% in the 4th quarter. Donaldson Capital Management LLC now owns 541,597 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $33,270,000 after purchasing an additional 132,960 shares in the last quarter. 57.62% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
SO stock traded up $0.04 during trading on Thursday, hitting $62.84. 53,216 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 3,999,714. The business has a 50-day moving average price of $59.90 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $59.70. The stock has a market capitalization of $66.40 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.93, a PEG ratio of 3.56 and a beta of 0.39. The Southern Company has a 52-week low of $50.40 and a 52-week high of $64.93. The company has a current ratio of 0.90, a quick ratio of 0.73 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.40.
The Southern (NYSE:SO) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, February 17th. The utilities provider reported $0.47 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.42 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $5.12 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.07 billion. The Southern had a return on equity of 10.08% and a net margin of 15.80%. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.27 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that The Southern Company will post 3.19 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, March 8th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, February 16th were paid a $0.64 dividend. This represents a $2.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.07%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, February 12th. The Southern’s dividend payout ratio is currently 82.32%.
In other The Southern news, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 2,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, February 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.00, for a total value of $152,500.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 66,127 shares in the company, valued at $4,033,747. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, insider Ann P. Daiss sold 5,549 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.75, for a total value of $348,199.75. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 18,666 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,171,291.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 13,049 shares of company stock valued at $802,200. 0.39% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
A number of research analysts have weighed in on SO shares. Bank of America upgraded The Southern from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $64.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Tuesday, January 19th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded The Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $63.00 price target on the stock in a report on Thursday, January 14th. Morgan Stanley lifted their price target on The Southern from $55.00 to $57.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a report on Thursday, March 25th. KeyCorp reduced their price target on The Southern from $66.00 to $65.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, January 12th. Finally, Scotiabank upgraded The Southern from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and lifted their price target for the stock from $66.00 to $75.00 in a report on Tuesday, December 15th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $64.60.
The 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 and battery energy storage projects 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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