Welch Group LLC decreased its position in Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 4.1% in the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 553,972 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 23,748 shares during the quarter. Southern comprises about 3.5% of Welch Group LLC’s holdings, making the stock its 3rd largest position. Welch Group LLC owned 0.05% of Southern worth $34,219,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Altfest L J & Co. Inc. grew its holdings in Southern by 3.8% in the 2nd quarter. Altfest L J & Co. Inc. now owns 6,574 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $363,000 after buying an additional 240 shares during the period. AE Wealth Management LLC grew its holdings in Southern by 14.5% in the 2nd quarter. AE Wealth Management LLC now owns 125,153 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $6,918,000 after buying an additional 15,834 shares during the period. CENTRAL TRUST Co grew its holdings in Southern by 4.0% in the 2nd quarter. CENTRAL TRUST Co now owns 71,185 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $4,021,000 after buying an additional 2,752 shares during the period. CWM LLC grew its holdings in Southern by 31.4% in the 3rd quarter. CWM LLC now owns 402,808 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $24,881,000 after buying an additional 96,358 shares during the period. Finally, Invesco Ltd. grew its holdings in Southern by 22.4% in the 2nd quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 7,200,728 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $398,057,000 after buying an additional 1,319,096 shares during the period. 58.51% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
SO has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. UBS Group lifted their price target on Southern from $58.00 to $62.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, September 6th. Bank of America lifted their price target on Southern from $60.00 to $64.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, September 12th. Morgan Stanley lowered their price target on Southern from $55.00 to $54.00 and set an “underweight” rating for the company in a report on Friday, August 16th. ValuEngine cut Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 6th. Finally, Citigroup boosted their target price on Southern from $55.00 to $61.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 29th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company. Southern has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $56.80.
Shares of NYSE:SO traded down $0.79 during trading on Monday, reaching $60.47. 3,400,719 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 4,562,452. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.37, a quick ratio of 0.77 and a current ratio of 0.94. Southern Co has a 12-month low of $42.50 and a 12-month high of $63.09. The firm has a market cap of $64.35 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.70, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.42 and a beta of 0.15. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $61.55 and its 200 day moving average price is $57.37.
Southern (NYSE:SO) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, October 30th. The utilities provider reported $1.34 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.20. Southern had a return on equity of 10.52% and a net margin of 21.02%. The business had revenue of $6 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $6.01 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.14 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.7% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities research analysts forecast that Southern Co will post 3.09 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 6th. Stockholders of record on Monday, November 18th will be issued a dividend of $0.62 per share. This represents a $2.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.10%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, November 15th. Southern’s payout ratio is currently 80.78%.
In related news, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 123,533 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.87, for a total transaction of $7,642,986.71. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 191,305 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $11,836,040.35. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $58.28, for a total value of $116,560.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 69,772 shares in the company, valued at $4,066,312.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 177,533 shares of company stock valued at $10,941,987 in the last quarter. Company insiders own 0.88% of the company’s stock.
Southern Company Profile
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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