B.S. Pension Fund Trustee Ltd acting for the British Steel Pension Fund purchased a new position in shares of Southern Co (NYSE:SO) in the fourth quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor purchased 5,226 shares of the utilities provider’s stock, valued at approximately $228,000.
Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in SO. Sontag Advisory LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Southern during the 4th quarter worth about $25,000. Vigilant Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Southern during the 4th quarter worth about $30,000. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust raised its position in shares of Southern by 38.1% during the 4th quarter. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust now owns 798 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $35,000 after acquiring an additional 220 shares in the last quarter. Lindbrook Capital LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Southern during the 4th quarter worth about $36,000. Finally, IMS Capital Management acquired a new stake in shares of Southern during the 3rd quarter worth about $37,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 56.89% of the company’s stock.
In other Southern news, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 7,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, April 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.68, for a total transaction of $361,760.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 77,772 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,019,256.96. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Henry A. Clark III bought 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 5th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $50.19 per share, with a total value of $100,380.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 2,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $100,380. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 383,341 shares of company stock valued at $19,342,988. Company insiders own 0.73% of the company’s stock.
Southern (NYSE:SO) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 20th. The utilities provider reported $0.25 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.23 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $5.34 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.88 billion. Southern had a return on equity of 11.39% and a net margin of 9.54%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 5.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.51 earnings per share. As a group, analysts anticipate that Southern Co will post 3.03 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 6th. Stockholders of record on Monday, May 20th will be given a $0.62 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, May 17th. This represents a $2.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.77%. This is an increase from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.60. Southern’s payout ratio is currently 78.18%.
A number of research analysts recently issued reports on SO shares. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 9th. Guggenheim restated a “hold” rating and set a $44.00 price target on shares of Southern in a research note on Monday, January 7th. restated a “sell” rating on shares of Southern in a research note on Wednesday, February 13th. Citigroup upgraded Southern from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and lifted their target price for the company from $45.00 to $50.00 in a research note on Thursday, January 24th. Finally, SunTrust Banks reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $52.00 target price on shares of Southern in a research note on Monday, February 25th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $47.15.
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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