Rockbridge Investment Management LCC bought a new stake in shares of Southern Co (NYSE:SO) during the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The fund bought 847 shares of the utilities provider’s stock, valued at approximately $44,000.
A number of other hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in SO. State Street Corp grew its position in shares of Southern by 0.9% during the 1st quarter. State Street Corp now owns 57,756,219 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,126,922,000 after buying an additional 541,205 shares during the period. Franklin Resources Inc. grew its position in shares of Southern by 1.7% during the 1st quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 27,073,756 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,465,774,000 after buying an additional 441,612 shares during the period. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA grew its position in shares of Southern by 3.6% during the 1st quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 26,943,465 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,458,719,000 after buying an additional 940,199 shares during the period. FMR LLC grew its position in shares of Southern by 11.0% during the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 14,378,464 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $745,524,000 after buying an additional 1,420,920 shares during the period. Finally, Legal & General Group Plc grew its position in shares of Southern by 1.7% during the 1st quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 10,436,785 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $565,479,000 after buying an additional 177,708 shares during the period. 57.29% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
In other news, Director David J. Grain sold 10,291 shares of Southern stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.92, for a total transaction of $544,599.72. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 791 shares in the company, valued at approximately $41,859.72. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 2,500 shares of Southern stock in a transaction on Monday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.00, for a total value of $137,500.00. Insiders have sold a total of 15,291 shares of company stock worth $819,600 over the last quarter. Company insiders own 0.39% of the company’s stock.
Several brokerages have recently commented on SO. Seaport Global Securities began coverage on shares of Southern in a research report on Wednesday, May 20th. They set a “buy” rating and a $60.00 price objective for the company. KeyCorp reduced their price target on shares of Southern from $71.00 to $65.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research report on Tuesday, July 21st. Mizuho downgraded shares of Southern from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating and reduced their price target for the company from $53.00 to $48.00 in a research report on Thursday, September 10th. UBS Group reduced their price target on shares of Southern from $57.00 to $55.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research report on Tuesday, September 1st. Finally, Morgan Stanley lifted their price target on shares of Southern from $53.00 to $55.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a research report on Friday, July 17th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $61.17.
SO traded up $0.32 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $53.33. 54,292 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 5,207,542. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.46, a quick ratio of 0.75 and a current ratio of 0.97. The stock has a market capitalization of $55.99 billion, a PE ratio of 17.35, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.10 and a beta of 0.39. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $53.27 and a two-hundred day moving average price of $55.05. Southern Co has a 1 year low of $41.96 and a 1 year high of $71.10.
Southern (NYSE:SO) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 30th. The utilities provider reported $0.78 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.67 by $0.11. The firm had revenue of $4.62 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.93 billion. Southern had a net margin of 15.83% and a return on equity of 10.47%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 9.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.80 EPS. Sell-side analysts expect that Southern Co will post 3.16 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, September 8th. Stockholders of record on Monday, August 17th were paid a dividend of $0.64 per share. This represents a $2.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.80%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, August 14th. Southern’s payout ratio is 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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