Financial Advantage Inc. Boosts Holdings in Southern Co (SO)

Financial Advantage Inc. grew its position in Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 0.6% in the 1st quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 91,212 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 548 shares during the period. Southern comprises about 3.4% of Financial Advantage Inc.’s portfolio, making the stock its 15th largest position. Financial Advantage Inc.’s holdings in Southern were worth $4,713,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Harvest Investment Services LLC raised its holdings in shares of Southern by 21.5% in the first quarter. Harvest Investment Services LLC now owns 6,782 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $348,000 after purchasing an additional 1,199 shares during the last quarter. Livingston Group Asset Management CO operating as Southport Capital Management grew its position in Southern by 14.8% during the first quarter. Livingston Group Asset Management CO operating as Southport Capital Management now owns 6,090 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $315,000 after buying an additional 783 shares during the period. Country Trust Bank grew its position in Southern by 150.8% during the first quarter. Country Trust Bank now owns 3,755 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $194,000 after buying an additional 2,258 shares during the period. Nwam LLC grew its position in Southern by 3.0% during the first quarter. Nwam LLC now owns 9,837 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $508,000 after buying an additional 290 shares during the period. Finally, Gemmer Asset Management LLC grew its position in Southern by 58.0% during the first quarter. Gemmer Asset Management LLC now owns 681 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $35,000 after buying an additional 250 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 56.48% of the company’s stock.

In other news, insider Mark Lantrip sold 33,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 12th. The shares were 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 of the company’s stock, valued at $2,779,771.50. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 18,922 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $50.36, for a total transaction of $952,911.92. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 10,165 shares in the company, valued at $511,909.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 292,399 shares of company stock valued at $14,923,207 in the last quarter. Company insiders own 0.73% of the company’s stock.

Several equities analysts recently weighed in on SO shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $52.00 price target for the company in a research report on Tuesday, January 15th. Citigroup upgraded shares of Southern from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and increased their price target for the company from $45.00 to $50.00 in a research report on Thursday, January 24th. restated a “sell” rating on shares of Southern in a research report on Wednesday, February 13th. restated a “sell” rating on shares of Southern in a research report on Wednesday, February 13th. Finally, SunTrust Banks restated a “hold” rating and set a $52.00 price target on shares of Southern in a research report on Monday, February 25th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $47.54.

Shares of NYSE:SO opened at $53.37 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.37, a current ratio of 0.88 and a quick ratio of 0.69. The stock has a market cap of $54.47 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.38, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.85 and a beta of 0.21. Southern Co has a twelve month low of $42.42 and a twelve month high of $53.42.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, May 1st. The utilities provider reported $0.70 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.70. The firm had revenue of $5.41 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.66 billion. Southern had a net margin of 15.03% and a return on equity of 10.37%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 15.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.88 earnings per share. Analysts predict that Southern Co will post 3.03 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, May 20th will be given a dividend of $0.62 per share. This represents a $2.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.65%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, May 17th. This is a positive change from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.60. Southern’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 78.18%.

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About Southern

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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