Home Federal Bank of Tennessee increased its stake in shares of The Southern Company (NYSE:SO – Get Rating) by 3.9% during the 2nd quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The fund owned 9,275 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after acquiring an additional 350 shares during the period. Home Federal Bank of Tennessee’s holdings in Southern were worth $662,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Several other institutional investors and hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of SO. Landmark Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in Southern in the first quarter valued at approximately $25,000. IndexIQ Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Southern in the first quarter valued at approximately $25,000. Rise Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Southern in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $34,000. Hardy Reed LLC bought a new stake in Southern in the first quarter valued at approximately $36,000. Finally, Western Pacific Wealth Management LP bought a new stake in Southern in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $45,000. Institutional investors own 62.20% of the company’s stock.
Analyst Ratings Changes
Several analysts have issued reports on SO shares. The Goldman Sachs Group upped their price objective on Southern from $53.00 to $61.00 and gave the company a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, August 22nd. UBS Group upgraded Southern from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their price objective for the company from $76.00 to $87.00 in a research note on Thursday, August 4th. Guggenheim upped their target price on Southern from $76.00 to $80.00 in a research report on Thursday, July 21st. Seaport Res Ptn reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Southern in a research report on Thursday, June 30th. Finally, Barclays decreased their target price on Southern from $82.00 to $79.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, July 18th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. Based on data from MarketBeat, the stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $75.58.
Southern Price Performance
Southern (NYSE:SO – Get Rating) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The utilities provider reported $1.07 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.84 by $0.23. The firm had revenue of $7.21 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.31 billion. Southern had a return on equity of 12.09% and a net margin of 12.13%. The company’s revenue was up 38.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.84 EPS. Sell-side analysts forecast that The Southern Company will post 3.63 earnings per share for the current year.
Southern Dividend Announcement
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, September 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, August 15th were issued a $0.68 dividend. This represents a $2.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.63%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, August 12th. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is presently 95.77%.
Insider Buying and Selling at Southern
In other news, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 14,500 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, July 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.92, for a total value of $1,057,340.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 115,284 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,406,509.28. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. In other news, EVP James Y. Kerr II sold 25,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, July 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $76.00, for a total value of $1,900,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 136,987 shares in the company, valued at approximately $10,411,012. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 14,500 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, July 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $72.92, for a total value of $1,057,340.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 115,284 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $8,406,509.28. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 54,000 shares of company stock valued at $4,109,655. 0.37% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
The Southern Company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. It operates through Gas Distribution Operations, Gas Pipeline Investments, Wholesale Gas Services, and Gas Marketing Services segments. The company also develops, constructs, acquires, owns, and manages power generation assets, including renewable energy projects 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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