First National Trust Co. increased its position in shares of Southern Co. (NYSE:SO) by 0.2% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 87,096 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 170 shares during the period. First National Trust Co.’s holdings in Southern were worth $4,671,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other large investors also recently made changes to their positions in the stock. State Street Corp raised its stake in Southern by 7.9% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 45,685,547 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,363,311,000 after buying an additional 3,331,298 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. raised its stake in Southern by 1.6% in the first quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 24,901,213 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,288,140,000 after buying an additional 390,094 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors raised its stake in Southern by 8.8% in the first quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 16,837,913 shares of the company’s stock valued at $871,025,000 after buying an additional 1,356,320 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Group LTD raised its stake in Southern by 5.7% in the first quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 9,143,419 shares of the company’s stock valued at $472,989,000 after buying an additional 493,939 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC raised its stake in Southern by 2.2% in the first quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 7,682,592 shares of the company’s stock valued at $396,644,000 after buying an additional 166,136 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 48.64% of the company’s stock.
Southern Co. (NYSE:SO) traded down 1.74% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $49.84. 10,301,334 shares of the stock traded hands. The stock has a market cap of $46.93 billion, a PE ratio of 19.79 and a beta of 0.08. The company has a 50 day moving average of $51.86 and a 200-day moving average of $51.43. Southern Co. has a 12-month low of $43.38 and a 12-month high of $54.64.
Southern (NYSE:SO) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $0.74 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.70 by $0.04. Southern had a net margin of 13.77% and a return on equity of 12.50%. The business earned $4.45 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.54 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.71 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.7% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts forecast that Southern Co. will post $2.86 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, September 6th. Stockholders of record on Monday, August 15th were paid a $0.56 dividend. This represents a $2.24 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.49%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, August 11th. Southern’s payout ratio is 87.50%.
SO has been the subject of several recent research reports. Barclays PLC upgraded shares of Southern from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and boosted their price target for the company from $54.00 to $62.00 in a report on Thursday, July 14th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Mizuho reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $50.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a research note on Monday, July 11th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reiterated a “neutral” rating and set a $54.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a research note on Thursday, July 14th. Jefferies Group boosted their price objective on shares of Southern from $50.00 to $55.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 28th. Finally, SunTrust Banks Inc. reduced their price objective on shares of Southern from $53.00 to $51.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research note on Monday, August 29th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. Southern presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $53.50.
In related news, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 46,008 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.40, for a total value of $2,456,827.20. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 56,149 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,998,356.60. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Mark A. Crosswhite sold 167,273 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, July 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.30, for a total transaction of $8,915,650.90. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 171,983 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,166,693.90. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.00% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
The Southern Company (Southern Company) is a holding company. The Company owns all of the stock of the traditional operating companies and Southern Power Company (Southern Power), and owns other direct and indirect subsidiaries. Southern Company’s segments include the sale of electricity by four traditional operating companies, Southern Power and All Other.
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