Independence Bank of Kentucky lessened its holdings in shares of Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 13.0% during the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 5,954 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 889 shares during the period. Independence Bank of Kentucky’s holdings in Southern were worth $261,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other large investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. Farmers Trust Co. lifted its position in Southern by 2.4% in the 4th quarter. Farmers Trust Co. now owns 12,938 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $568,000 after acquiring an additional 300 shares in the last quarter. Court Place Advisors LLC lifted its position in Southern by 1.8% in the 4th quarter. Court Place Advisors LLC now owns 16,962 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $745,000 after acquiring an additional 301 shares in the last quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC lifted its position in Southern by 23.2% in the 4th quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC now owns 1,899 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $73,000 after acquiring an additional 357 shares in the last quarter. Atlas Brown Inc. lifted its position in Southern by 4.3% in the 4th quarter. Atlas Brown Inc. now owns 8,749 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $384,000 after acquiring an additional 358 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Griffin Asset Management Inc. lifted its position in Southern by 0.7% in the 3rd quarter. Griffin Asset Management Inc. now owns 53,323 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,325,000 after acquiring an additional 384 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 56.84% of the company’s stock.
A number of equities research analysts have weighed in on the stock. $1 reiterated a “sell” rating on shares of Southern in a research note on Wednesday. Mizuho reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $46.00 target price on shares of Southern in a research note on Tuesday, December 11th. Barclays boosted their target price on shares of Southern from $48.00 to $49.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, November 19th. UBS Group upped their price objective on Southern from $46.00 to $47.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, October 29th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $53.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Tuesday, December 4th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Southern presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $46.64.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, March 6th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, February 19th will be paid a $0.60 dividend. This represents a $2.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.88%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, February 15th. Southern’s payout ratio is currently 79.47%.
In other news, CEO Kimberly S. Greene sold 15,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.03, for a total transaction of $705,450.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 9,380 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $441,141.40. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider Mark Lantrip sold 9,000 shares of Southern stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, December 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.58, for a total transaction of $428,220.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 147,942 shares of company stock valued at $7,186,951. 0.73% of the stock is owned by insiders.
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The Southern Company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. 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, New Jersey, Florida, Tennessee, and Maryland, as well as provides gas marketing services, wholesale gas services, and gas midstream operations.
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