Hartford Financial Management Inc. lessened its position in shares of Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 7.9% during the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 10,005 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 860 shares during the quarter. Hartford Financial Management Inc.’s holdings in Southern were worth $553,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Several other large investors have also recently made changes to their positions in SO. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its holdings in Southern by 5.8% during the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,922,644 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $84,443,000 after purchasing an additional 105,232 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Southern by 10.3% during the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 12,763,112 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $559,911,000 after acquiring an additional 1,188,667 shares in the last quarter. USS Investment Management Ltd acquired a new stake in shares of Southern during the 1st quarter valued at $31,406,000. First Citizens Bank & Trust Co. acquired a new stake in shares of Southern during the 1st quarter valued at $212,000. Finally, Retirement Systems of Alabama boosted its holdings in shares of Southern by 3.0% during the 1st quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama now owns 481,738 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $24,896,000 after acquiring an additional 14,060 shares in the last quarter. 56.66% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
Several research firms have recently weighed in on SO. ValuEngine cut shares of Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 6th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 21st. Bank of America decreased their price target on shares of Southern from $61.00 to $60.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, August 1st. Mizuho upped their price target on shares of Southern from $48.50 to $55.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, June 13th. Finally, KeyCorp began coverage on shares of Southern in a report on Tuesday, June 4th. They issued a “sector weight” rating on the stock. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $52.10.
Southern (NYSE:SO) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 31st. The utilities provider reported $0.80 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.72 by $0.08. The firm had revenue of $5.10 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.12 billion. Southern had a net margin of 20.18% and a return on equity of 10.04%. Southern’s revenue was down 9.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.80 EPS. On average, equities research analysts predict that Southern Co will post 3.03 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 6th. Investors of record on Monday, August 19th will be paid a dividend of $0.62 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, August 16th. This represents a $2.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.34%. Southern’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 80.78%.
In other news, insider Ann P. Daiss sold 3,786 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.42, for a total value of $206,034.12. Following the sale, the insider now owns 13,798 shares in the company, valued at $750,887.16. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider Ann P. Daiss sold 11,625 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, June 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.18, for a total transaction of $641,467.50. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 17,862 shares in the company, valued at approximately $985,625.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 769,547 shares of company stock valued at $42,411,331. 0.88% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
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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