Commerce Bank Purchases 6,443 Shares of Southern Co (NYSE:SO)

Commerce Bank boosted its position in Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 6.6% in the 1st quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 104,311 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 6,443 shares during the quarter. Commerce Bank’s holdings in Southern were worth $5,648,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. State Street Corp boosted its stake in Southern by 5.4% in the 4th quarter. State Street Corp now owns 57,215,014 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,644,596,000 after purchasing an additional 2,944,110 shares during the period. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA boosted its stake in Southern by 3.6% in the 4th quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 26,003,266 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,656,408,000 after purchasing an additional 898,413 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in Southern by 2.1% in the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 15,184,449 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $966,567,000 after purchasing an additional 310,440 shares during the period. California Public Employees Retirement System boosted its stake in Southern by 0.3% in the 4th quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 8,262,196 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $526,302,000 after purchasing an additional 26,412 shares during the period. Finally, Norges Bank bought a new stake in Southern in the 4th quarter valued at $494,229,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 58.84% of the company’s stock.

Southern stock opened at $54.58 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.44, a quick ratio of 0.78 and a current ratio of 0.99. Southern Co has a 52 week low of $41.96 and a 52 week high of $71.10. The stock has a market capitalization of $56.90 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.88, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.26 and a beta of 0.44. The stock has a fifty day moving average of $55.58 and a 200-day moving average of $61.17.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, April 30th. The utilities provider reported $0.78 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.71 by $0.07. Southern had a return on equity of 10.57% and a net margin of 16.83%. The business had revenue of $5.02 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.45 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.70 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 7.3% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, research analysts forecast that Southern Co will post 3.16 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 8th. Shareholders of record on Monday, May 18th will be issued a $0.64 dividend. This represents a $2.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.69%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, May 15th. This is a boost from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.62. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is presently 82.32%.

Several analysts recently issued reports on SO shares. Wolfe Research upgraded Southern from an “underperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research note on Thursday, March 12th. Citigroup upped their target price on Southern from $61.00 to $73.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday, January 27th. Barclays cut their target price on Southern from $68.00 to $52.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, March 26th. Seaport Global Securities began coverage on Southern in a research report on Wednesday. They set a “buy” rating and a $60.00 target price for the company. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $67.00 target price on shares of Southern in a research report on Thursday, April 30th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $61.90.

In related news, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, April 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.59, for a total transaction of $103,180.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 84,396 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,353,989.64. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Ernest J. Moniz bought 3,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 4th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $54.72 per share, for a total transaction of $191,520.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 3,500 shares in the company, valued at $191,520. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 13,843 shares of company stock valued at $881,346. Insiders own 0.39% of the company’s stock.

About Southern

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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