Shell Asset Management Co. grew its stake in Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 4.6% in the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 171,262 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after acquiring an additional 7,468 shares during the quarter. Shell Asset Management Co.’s holdings in Southern were worth $9,272,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Several other hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in the company. State Street Corp increased its stake in shares of 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 acquiring an additional 2,944,110 shares during the last quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA grew its position in shares of 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 grew its position in shares of 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 grew its position in shares of 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 acquired a new position in shares of Southern in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $494,229,000. 58.84% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
In other Southern news, Director Ernest J. Moniz purchased 3,500 shares of the company’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 purchase, the director now owns 3,500 shares in the company, valued at $191,520. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, April 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.59, for a total value of $103,180.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 84,396 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,353,989.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 13,843 shares of company stock worth $881,346. Company insiders own 0.39% of the company’s stock.
Shares of Southern stock traded up $0.75 on Friday, reaching $54.58. 4,407,150 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 5,260,371. Southern Co has a one year low of $41.96 and a one year high of $71.10. The company has a market capitalization of $56.90 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.24, a PEG ratio of 4.26 and a beta of 0.44. The company has a current ratio of 0.99, a quick ratio of 0.78 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.44. The company has a 50-day moving average of $55.58 and a 200 day moving average of $61.17.
Southern (NYSE:SO) last announced its quarterly earnings data 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 company had revenue of $5.02 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.45 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.70 EPS. The business’s revenue was down 7.3% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts predict that Southern Co will post 3.16 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 8th. Stockholders of record on Monday, May 18th will be paid a dividend of $0.64 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, May 15th. This represents a $2.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.69%. This is a boost from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.62. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is currently 82.32%.
SO has been the subject of several research analyst reports. UBS Group lowered Southern from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating and boosted their price objective for the company from $54.00 to $63.00 in a research report on Thursday. Cfra boosted their price objective on Southern from $62.00 to $66.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, February 20th. ValuEngine lowered Southern from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, February 28th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $59.00 price objective for the company. in a research report on Tuesday, May 5th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group raised Southern from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and upped their price target for the stock from $60.00 to $61.00 in a research report on Monday, May 4th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $61.90.
Southern Company Profile
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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