Sadoff Investment Management LLC lifted its position in Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 0.1% during the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 201,062 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after buying an additional 275 shares during the quarter. Sadoff Investment Management LLC’s holdings in Southern were worth $12,808,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in Southern by 2.2% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 70,040,340 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,871,830,000 after acquiring an additional 1,479,813 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp grew its position in Southern by 2.2% during the third quarter. State Street Corp now owns 54,270,904 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,352,314,000 after acquiring an additional 1,193,544 shares during the last quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA grew its position in Southern by 1.3% during the third quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 25,104,853 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,550,726,000 after acquiring an additional 310,593 shares during the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System grew 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 acquiring an additional 26,412 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Pictet Asset Management Ltd. grew its position in Southern by 32.7% during the third quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. now owns 4,409,059 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $272,348,000 after acquiring an additional 1,086,610 shares during the last quarter. 58.93% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
A number of research analysts have commented on the stock. SunTrust Banks increased their price target on shares of Southern from $60.00 to $63.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, December 18th. Credit Suisse Group increased their price target on shares of Southern from $60.00 to $64.00 and gave the company an “underperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, December 18th. Citigroup increased their price target on shares of Southern from $61.00 to $73.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday. Evercore ISI reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $63.50 price target on shares of Southern in a research report on Sunday, December 15th. Finally, Morgan Stanley increased their price target on shares of Southern from $58.00 to $60.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 22nd. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $62.79.
In related news, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 2,000 shares of Southern stock in a transaction on Monday, November 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.22, for a total value of $124,440.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 65,772 shares in the company, valued at $4,092,333.84. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Thomas A. Fanning sold 2,066,499 shares of Southern stock in a transaction on Thursday, December 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.99, for a total transaction of $130,168,772.01. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 1,236,147 shares in the company, valued at approximately $77,864,899.53. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 2,218,238 shares of company stock worth $139,737,603. 0.88% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
Shares of Southern stock traded down $0.57 on Friday, hitting $70.28. The stock had a trading volume of 2,182,654 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,888,633. The company has a quick ratio of 0.77, a current ratio of 0.94 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.37. Southern Co has a one year low of $47.56 and a one year high of $70.90. The stock has a market cap of $73.52 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.97, a PEG ratio of 4.91 and a beta of 0.15. The stock’s 50-day simple moving average is $64.76 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $61.11.
Southern (NYSE:SO) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, October 30th. The utilities provider reported $1.34 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.20. The firm had revenue of $6 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $6.01 billion. Southern had a net margin of 21.02% and a return on equity of 10.52%. The business’s revenue was down 2.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.14 earnings per share. As a group, equities analysts predict that Southern Co will post 3.09 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 6th. Investors of record on Tuesday, February 18th will be issued a $0.62 dividend. This represents a $2.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.53%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, February 14th. Southern’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 80.78%.
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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