Hancock Whitney Corp grew its holdings in Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 249.0% in the 1st quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 55,207 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after acquiring an additional 39,387 shares during the period. Hancock Whitney Corp’s holdings in Southern were worth $2,853,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of the business. Old Port Advisors bought a new stake in shares of Southern during the 1st quarter worth $205,000. American Asset Management Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Southern by 13.4% during the 4th quarter. American Asset Management Inc. now owns 13,520 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $594,000 after buying an additional 1,595 shares during the period. Monte Financial Group LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Southern by 2.3% during the 1st quarter. Monte Financial Group LLC now owns 62,474 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,229,000 after buying an additional 1,394 shares during the period. Rampart Investment Management Company LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Southern by 168.3% during the 4th quarter. Rampart Investment Management Company LLC now owns 77,416 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,400,000 after buying an additional 48,561 shares during the period. Finally, LPL Financial LLC raised its stake in Southern by 1.2% during the 4th quarter. LPL Financial LLC now owns 795,878 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $34,955,000 after purchasing an additional 9,686 shares during the last quarter. 56.67% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
In other news, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 7,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, April 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.68, for a total value of $361,760.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 77,772 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,019,256.96. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, CEO William P. Bowers sold 233,477 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, April 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.29, for a total transaction of $11,975,035.33. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 354,212 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $18,167,533.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 708,324 shares of company stock valued at $37,841,279. Corporate insiders own 0.88% of the company’s stock.
Several equities analysts recently commented on SO shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $60.00 target price for the company in a research note on Monday, May 13th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, May 10th. SunTrust Banks reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $52.00 target price on shares of Southern in a research note on Monday, February 25th. Evercore ISI upgraded shares of Southern from an “in-line” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, May 3rd. Finally, KeyCorp started coverage on shares of Southern in a research note on Tuesday, June 4th. They set a “sector weight” rating for the company. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $48.23.
NYSE:SO traded up $0.37 during trading hours on Wednesday, hitting $54.92. 94,841 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 4,700,279. Southern Co has a twelve month low of $42.50 and a twelve month high of $55.95. The stock has a market cap of $56.80 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.86, a PEG ratio of 4.01 and a beta of 0.19. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.37, a current ratio of 0.88 and a quick ratio of 0.69.
Southern (NYSE:SO) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 1st. The utilities provider reported $0.70 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.70. Southern had a net margin of 15.03% and a return on equity of 10.37%. The company had revenue of $5.41 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.66 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.88 EPS. The business’s revenue was down 15.1% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities research analysts anticipate that Southern Co will post 3.03 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, June 6th. Stockholders of record on Monday, May 20th were paid a $0.62 dividend. This is a boost from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.60. The ex-dividend date was Friday, May 17th. This represents a $2.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.52%. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is currently 80.78%.
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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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