Buckingham Asset Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 208.4% in the fourth quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 25,347 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after buying an additional 17,127 shares during the period. Buckingham Asset Management LLC’s holdings in Southern were worth $1,219,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Several other large investors have also modified their holdings of SO. Taylor Hoffman Wealth Management acquired a new position in Southern in the 4th quarter valued at about $104,000. Farmers & Merchants Trust Co of Chambersburg PA acquired a new position in Southern in the 3rd quarter valued at about $105,000. Fieldpoint Private Securities LLC acquired a new position in Southern in the 3rd quarter valued at about $118,000. Acropolis Investment Management LLC acquired a new position in Southern in the 4th quarter valued at about $134,000. Finally, Bank of Nova Scotia Trust Co. acquired a new position in Southern in the 3rd quarter valued at about $147,000. 53.87% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Several equities analysts have weighed in on SO shares. Guggenheim reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $52.00 target price on shares of Southern in a research report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Mizuho reissued a “buy” rating and set a $52.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a research report on Tuesday, December 26th. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Southern in a research report on Friday, December 22nd. Zacks Investment Research raised Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $57.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, December 12th. Finally, Deutsche Bank lowered their price objective on Southern from $50.00 to $49.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, February 22nd. Six analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company. Southern currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $49.70.
Southern (NYSE:SO) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, February 21st. The utilities provider reported $0.51 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.46 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $5.63 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.17 billion. Southern had a return on equity of 11.96% and a net margin of 3.82%. The firm’s revenue was up 8.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.24 earnings per share. analysts forecast that Southern Co will post 2.94 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, March 6th. Investors of record on Tuesday, February 20th will be paid a dividend of $0.58 per share. This represents a $2.32 annualized dividend and a yield of 5.27%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, February 16th. Southern’s payout ratio is 414.29%.
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The Southern Company (Southern Company) is a holding company. The Company owns all of the stock of the traditional electric operating companies and the parent entities of Southern Power Company (Southern Power) and Southern Company Gas, and owns other direct and indirect subsidiaries. The Company’s segments include Gas distribution operations, Gas marketing services, Wholesale gas services, Gas midstream operations and All other.
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