Carroll Financial Associates Inc. increased its holdings in Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 7.5% during the 1st quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 26,915 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 1,880 shares during the quarter. Carroll Financial Associates Inc.’s holdings in Southern were worth $1,390,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Several other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of SO. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its holdings in shares of Southern by 1.9% during the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 10,620,343 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $463,048,000 after buying an additional 193,771 shares during the period. Paloma Partners Management Co purchased a new stake in shares of Southern during the 3rd quarter valued at about $871,000. Verition Fund Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Southern during the 3rd quarter valued at about $1,005,000. Putnam Investments LLC raised its holdings in shares of Southern by 67.3% during the 3rd quarter. Putnam Investments LLC now owns 120,863 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $5,270,000 after buying an additional 48,617 shares during the period. Finally, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans raised its holdings in shares of Southern by 136.5% during the 3rd quarter. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans now owns 148,966 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $6,495,000 after buying an additional 85,986 shares during the period. 56.48% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
Several brokerages recently commented on SO. ValuEngine upgraded Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday. Evercore ISI upgraded Southern from an “in-line” rating to an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, May 3rd. Credit Suisse Group set a $51.00 target price on Southern and gave the company a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, April 22nd. Finally, SunTrust Banks restated a “hold” rating and set a $52.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a research note on Monday, February 25th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $47.54.
Southern (NYSE:SO) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, May 1st. The utilities provider reported $0.70 EPS for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.70. The company had revenue of $5.41 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.66 billion. Southern had a return on equity of 10.37% and a net margin of 15.03%. The business’s revenue was down 15.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.88 EPS. On average, sell-side analysts predict that Southern Co will post 3.03 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently announced 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. This is a positive change from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.60. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, May 17th. This represents a $2.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.65%. Southern’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 78.18%.
In other news, Director Henry A. Clark III acquired 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 5th. The shares were bought at an average price of $50.19 per share, with a total value of $100,380.00. Following the purchase, the director now owns 2,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $100,380. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Mark Lantrip sold 33,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, February 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $49.50, for a total value of $1,633,500.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 56,157 shares in the company, valued at $2,779,771.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 292,399 shares of company stock valued at $14,923,207. Insiders own 0.73% of the company’s stock.
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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