Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co. Ltd. reduced its stake in Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 1.8% in the 1st quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The institutional investor owned 220,282 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 3,959 shares during the quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co. Ltd.’s holdings in Southern were worth $11,926,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other large investors also recently modified their holdings of SO. State Street Corp increased its stake in Southern by 5.4% during the 4th quarter. State Street Corp now owns 57,215,014 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,644,596,000 after acquiring an additional 2,944,110 shares during the period. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA grew its holdings in shares of Southern by 3.6% during the 4th quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 26,003,266 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,656,408,000 after purchasing an additional 898,413 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC increased its position in shares of Southern by 2.1% in the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 15,184,449 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $966,567,000 after purchasing an additional 310,440 shares during the period. California Public Employees Retirement System raised its stake in Southern by 0.3% in the fourth quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 8,262,196 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $526,302,000 after purchasing an additional 26,412 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Norges Bank acquired a new position in Southern in the fourth quarter valued at about $494,229,000. 58.84% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
In other news, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, April 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.59, for a total value of $103,180.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 84,396 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,353,989.64. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Ernest J. Moniz purchased 3,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, May 4th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $54.72 per share, with a total value of $191,520.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 3,500 shares in the company, valued at approximately $191,520. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders have sold 13,843 shares of company stock valued at $881,346 over the last 90 days. 0.39% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
SO has been the topic of several recent analyst reports. Cfra raised their target price on shares of Southern from $62.00 to $66.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, February 20th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $59.00 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Tuesday, May 5th. Wolfe Research upgraded Southern from an “underperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research note on Thursday, March 12th. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $67.00 price target on shares of Southern in a research note on Thursday, April 30th. Finally, UBS Group cut Southern from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating and boosted their price target for the stock from $54.00 to $63.00 in a report on Thursday. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $61.90.
NYSE SO traded up $0.75 on Friday, hitting $54.58. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 4,407,150 shares, compared to its average volume of 5,260,371. The company’s 50-day moving average is $55.58 and its 200 day moving average is $61.17. The firm has a market cap of $56.90 billion, a PE ratio of 16.24, a PEG ratio of 4.26 and a beta of 0.44. Southern Co has a 1-year low of $41.96 and a 1-year high of $71.10. The company has a quick ratio of 0.78, a current ratio of 0.99 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.44.
Southern (NYSE:SO) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 30th. The utilities provider reported $0.78 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.71 by $0.07. The company had revenue of $5.02 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.45 billion. Southern had a net margin of 16.83% and a return on equity of 10.57%. Southern’s revenue for the quarter was down 7.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.70 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts expect that Southern Co will post 3.16 EPS for the current year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 8th. Stockholders of record on Monday, May 18th will be paid a $0.64 dividend. This is a boost from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.62. The ex-dividend date is Friday, May 15th. This represents a $2.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.69%. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is presently 82.32%.
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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