Southern Co (SO) Position Lessened by Hodges Capital Management Inc.

Hodges Capital Management Inc. lowered its position in shares of Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 9.8% in the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 4,624 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 500 shares during the quarter. Hodges Capital Management Inc.’s holdings in Southern were worth $239,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in SO. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in shares of Southern during the 4th quarter worth about $317,444,000. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund increased its position in shares of Southern by 4,238.0% during the 4th quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 4,812,534 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $110,000 after purchasing an additional 4,701,596 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in shares of Southern by 4.0% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 67,971,011 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,985,286,000 after purchasing an additional 2,593,928 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC increased its position in shares of Southern by 20.7% during the 4th quarter. FMR LLC now owns 10,403,435 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $456,919,000 after purchasing an additional 1,785,854 shares in the last quarter. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System increased its position in shares of Southern by 45.0% during the 4th quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 5,303,634 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $232,936,000 after purchasing an additional 1,645,805 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 56.89% of the company’s stock.

A number of equities research analysts recently issued reports on SO shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $49.00 target price for the company in a research report on Saturday, January 5th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, March 9th. SunTrust Banks reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $47.00 target price on shares of Southern in a research report on Monday, January 7th. Guggenheim reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $44.00 target price on shares of Southern in a research report on Monday, January 7th. Finally, Citigroup upgraded shares of Southern from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $45.00 to $50.00 in a research report on Thursday, January 24th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $47.15.

SO opened at $52.39 on Wednesday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.54, a current ratio of 0.67 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.40. The stock has a market capitalization of $54.87 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.07, a P/E/G ratio of 3.86 and a beta of 0.20. Southern Co has a 1-year low of $42.42 and a 1-year high of $52.98.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 20th. The utilities provider reported $0.25 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.23 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $5.34 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.88 billion. Southern had a net margin of 9.54% and a return on equity of 11.39%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 5.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.51 EPS. As a group, equities research analysts forecast that Southern Co will post 3.03 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, May 20th will be given a $0.62 dividend. This represents a $2.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.73%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, May 17th. This is a boost from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.60. Southern’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 78.18%.

In other news, CEO William P. Bowers sold 233,477 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, April 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.29, for a total value of $11,975,035.33. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 354,212 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $18,167,533.48. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CEO William P. Bowers sold 90,942 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, February 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.60, for a total transaction of $4,419,781.20. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 177,043 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,604,289.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 383,341 shares of company stock valued at $19,342,988 in the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 0.73% of the company’s stock.

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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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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