Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. lessened its position in shares of Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 16.4% during the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The firm owned 3,058 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 599 shares during the quarter. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc.’s holdings in Southern were worth $169,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Altfest L J & Co. Inc. raised its stake in shares of Southern by 3.8% in the 2nd quarter. Altfest L J & Co. Inc. now owns 6,574 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $363,000 after acquiring an additional 240 shares during the period. AE Wealth Management LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Southern by 14.5% in the 2nd quarter. AE Wealth Management LLC now owns 125,153 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $6,918,000 after buying an additional 15,834 shares in the last quarter. CENTRAL TRUST Co boosted its holdings in shares of Southern by 4.0% in the 2nd quarter. CENTRAL TRUST Co now owns 71,185 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $4,021,000 after buying an additional 2,752 shares in the last quarter. Wesbanco Bank Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Southern by 4.7% in the 1st quarter. Wesbanco Bank Inc. now owns 66,022 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,412,000 after buying an additional 2,964 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Billeaud Capital Management Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Southern by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. Billeaud Capital Management Inc. now owns 83,426 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $4,612,000 after buying an additional 255 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 58.39% of the company’s stock.
Shares of NYSE SO traded down $0.06 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $59.93. The stock had a trading volume of 220,344 shares, compared to its average volume of 5,475,518. The company has a market capitalization of $61.58 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.52, a P/E/G ratio of 4.32 and a beta of 0.17. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $57.74 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $54.41. Southern Co has a 52 week low of $42.50 and a 52 week high of $60.65. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.33, a quick ratio of 0.59 and a current ratio of 0.76.
Southern (NYSE:SO) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, July 31st. The utilities provider reported $0.80 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.72 by $0.08. Southern had a return on equity of 10.04% and a net margin of 20.18%. The firm had revenue of $5.10 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.12 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.80 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 9.4% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, analysts expect that Southern Co will post 3.04 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, August 19th were given a $0.62 dividend. This represents a $2.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.14%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, August 16th. Southern’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 80.78%.
A number of equities analysts have commented on SO shares. Morgan Stanley cut their price objective on shares of Southern from $55.00 to $54.00 and set an “underweight” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, August 16th. Mizuho increased their price objective on shares of Southern from $48.50 to $55.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday, June 13th. SunTrust Banks set a $59.00 price target on shares of Southern and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 3rd. Bank of America increased their price objective on shares of Southern from $60.00 to $64.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday. Finally, KeyCorp started coverage on shares of Southern in a research note on Tuesday, June 4th. They set a “sector weight” rating on the stock. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Southern has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $55.70.
In other news, CEO William P. Bowers sold 164,377 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, June 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.01, for a total transaction of $9,206,755.77. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 181,005 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $10,138,090.05. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Ann P. Daiss sold 7,969 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.06, for a total value of $446,742.14. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 17,981 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,008,014.86. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 257,121 shares of company stock worth $14,572,063 in the last 90 days. Company insiders own 0.88% of the company’s stock.
Southern Company 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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