National Asset Management Inc. lessened its holdings in Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 43.8% in the 1st quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The institutional investor owned 20,578 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 16,035 shares during the quarter. National Asset Management Inc.’s holdings in Southern were worth $1,116,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Several other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of the company. State Street Corp boosted its position in shares of Southern by 5.4% in the fourth quarter. State Street Corp now owns 57,215,014 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,644,596,000 after buying an additional 2,944,110 shares during the period. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA boosted its position in Southern by 3.6% during the fourth quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 26,003,266 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,656,408,000 after purchasing an additional 898,413 shares during the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its position in Southern by 2.1% during the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 15,184,449 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $966,567,000 after purchasing an additional 310,440 shares during the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System boosted its position in Southern by 0.3% during 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 during the last quarter. Finally, Norges Bank acquired a new stake in Southern during the fourth quarter valued at $494,229,000. 58.84% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
In related news, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 9,843 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $67.99, for a total transaction of $669,225.57. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 18,146 shares in the company, valued at $1,233,746.54. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, April 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.59, for a total value of $103,180.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 84,396 shares in the company, valued at $4,353,989.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 13,843 shares of company stock worth $881,346 over the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 0.39% of the company’s stock.
Shares of Southern stock traded up $0.75 during trading on Friday, reaching $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 has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.44, a quick ratio of 0.78 and a current ratio of 0.99. The business’s fifty day moving average price is $55.58 and its 200-day moving average price is $61.17. The firm has a market cap of $56.90 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.24, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.26 and a beta of 0.44. Southern Co has a one year low of $41.96 and a one year high of $71.10.
Southern (NYSE:SO) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 30th. The utilities provider reported $0.78 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.71 by $0.07. The business had revenue of $5.02 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.45 billion. Southern had a return on equity of 10.57% and a net margin of 16.83%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 7.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.70 earnings per share. Sell-side analysts anticipate that Southern Co will post 3.16 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently disclosed 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. The ex-dividend date is Friday, May 15th. This is a positive change from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.62. This represents a $2.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.69%. Southern’s payout ratio is presently 82.32%.
SO has been the subject of a number of research reports. Zacks Investment Research cut Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $59.00 price objective for the company. in a research report on Tuesday, May 5th. Wolfe Research raised Southern from an “underperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research report on Thursday, March 12th. Citigroup lifted their price objective on Southern from $61.00 to $73.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday, January 27th. Morgan Stanley reduced their price objective on Southern from $57.00 to $52.00 and set an “underweight” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, May 15th. Finally, Cfra raised their target price on Southern from $62.00 to $66.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, February 20th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $61.90.
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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