KCM Investment Advisors LLC reduced its stake in shares of Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 4.7% during the 4th quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 25,291 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 1,250 shares during the quarter. KCM Investment Advisors LLC’s holdings in Southern were worth $1,216,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of SO. OLD Second National Bank of Aurora increased its stake in Southern by 45.6% during the third quarter. OLD Second National Bank of Aurora now owns 7,245 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $356,000 after acquiring an additional 2,270 shares during the last quarter. Merriman Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in Southern during the third quarter worth approximately $307,000. Honkamp Krueger Financial Services Inc. increased its stake in Southern by 20.4% during the third quarter. Honkamp Krueger Financial Services Inc. now owns 22,802 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,120,000 after acquiring an additional 3,866 shares during the last quarter. Farmers & Merchants Trust Co of Chambersburg PA bought a new stake in Southern during the third quarter worth approximately $105,000. Finally, Edge Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in Southern during the third quarter worth approximately $4,082,000. 56.39% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
Several brokerages have weighed in on SO. SunTrust Banks set a $46.00 price objective on Southern and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Southern in a research note on Friday, December 22nd. Morgan Stanley reduced their price objective on Southern from $45.00 to $44.00 and set an “underweight” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, March 8th. UBS initiated coverage on Southern in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. They set a “neutral” rating and a $46.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, ValuEngine cut Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. Seven research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $49.47.
Southern (NYSE:SO) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 21st. The utilities provider reported $0.51 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.46 by $0.05. Southern had a return on equity of 11.96% and a net margin of 3.82%. The company had revenue of $5.63 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.17 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.24 earnings per share. Southern’s revenue was up 8.6% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts forecast that Southern Co will post 2.9 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, March 6th. Investors of record on Tuesday, February 20th were paid a $0.58 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Friday, February 16th. This represents a $2.32 annualized dividend and a yield of 5.26%. Southern’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 272.94%.
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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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