Shell Asset Management Co. boosted its holdings in Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 4.6% during the first quarter, Holdings Channel.com reports. The fund owned 171,262 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after buying an additional 7,468 shares during the quarter. Shell Asset Management Co.’s holdings in Southern were worth $9,272,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. Firestone Capital Management bought a new position in Southern in the 4th quarter worth about $1,021,000. Sowa Financial Group Inc. bought a new position in Southern in the 4th quarter worth about $25,000. RMR Wealth Builders bought a new position in Southern in the 4th quarter worth about $25,000. Valley National Advisers Inc. increased its stake in Southern by 49.0% in the 4th quarter. Valley National Advisers Inc. now owns 447 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $28,000 after acquiring an additional 147 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Barnett & Company Inc. bought a new position in Southern in the 1st quarter worth about $27,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 58.84% of the company’s stock.
In other news, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 9,843 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $67.99, for a total value of $669,225.57. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 18,146 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,233,746.54. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director Ernest J. Moniz bought 3,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 4th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $54.72 per share, with a total value of $191,520.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 3,500 shares in the company, valued at approximately $191,520. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 13,843 shares of company stock valued at $881,346 in the last ninety days. 0.39% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
A number of equities analysts have recently issued reports on SO shares. Barclays cut their price objective on Southern from $68.00 to $52.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a report on Thursday, March 26th. Credit Suisse Group upgraded Southern from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and upped their price objective for the stock from $60.00 to $61.00 in a report on Monday, May 4th. UBS Group cut Southern from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating and upped their price objective for the stock from $54.00 to $63.00 in a report on Thursday. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $67.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a report on Thursday, April 30th. Finally, Citigroup upped their price objective on Southern from $61.00 to $73.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Monday, January 27th. 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 presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $61.90.
SO stock traded up $0.75 during trading on Friday, hitting $54.58. 4,407,150 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 5,260,371. The company has a 50-day moving average of $55.58 and a 200-day moving average of $61.17. The firm has a market capitalization of $56.90 billion, a PE ratio of 16.24, a P/E/G ratio of 4.26 and a beta of 0.44. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.44, a quick ratio of 0.78 and a current ratio of 0.99. Southern Co has a 1 year low of $41.96 and a 1 year high of $71.10.
Southern (NYSE:SO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 30th. The utilities provider reported $0.78 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.71 by $0.07. The business had revenue of $5.02 billion during 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%. Southern’s quarterly revenue was down 7.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.70 EPS. Sell-side analysts expect that Southern Co will post 3.16 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 8th. Shareholders of record on Monday, May 18th will be given a dividend of $0.64 per share. This is a positive change from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.62. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, May 15th. This represents a $2.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.69%. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is presently 82.32%.
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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