IFM Investors Pty Ltd grew its stake in The Southern Company (NYSE:SO – Get Rating) by 147.4% during the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 313,288 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 186,648 shares during the period. IFM Investors Pty Ltd’s holdings in Southern were worth $22,717,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
A number of other hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in the stock. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Southern by 0.7% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 73,889,061 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $5,067,311,000 after purchasing an additional 539,395 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its holdings in Southern by 0.8% in the 4th quarter. State Street Corp now owns 52,509,811 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,601,123,000 after buying an additional 432,976 shares during the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC raised its holdings in Southern by 3.0% in the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 16,564,622 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,133,435,000 after buying an additional 480,757 shares during the last quarter. Capital Research Global Investors raised its holdings in Southern by 0.9% in the 4th quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 11,938,813 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $818,764,000 after buying an additional 102,121 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Invesco Ltd. raised its holdings in Southern by 4.9% in the 4th quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 6,398,744 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $438,824,000 after buying an additional 301,690 shares during the last quarter. 60.58% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Wall Street Analyst Weigh In
A number of research analysts recently issued reports on SO shares. UBS Group dropped their price objective on shares of Southern from $83.00 to $76.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a report on Thursday, June 30th. BMO Capital Markets lowered their price target on shares of Southern from $81.00 to $70.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, June 22nd. Morgan Stanley lowered their price target on shares of Southern from $67.00 to $66.00 and set an “underweight” rating for the company in a report on Monday, May 23rd. Mizuho raised their price target on shares of Southern from $67.00 to $76.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, April 21st. Finally, Seaport Res Ptn restated a “buy” rating on shares of Southern in a report on Thursday, June 30th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Based on data from MarketBeat, the stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $74.60.
Insiders Place Their Bets
Southern Stock Performance
NYSE SO opened at $76.89 on Monday. The company has a fifty day simple moving average of $72.03 and a 200 day simple moving average of $70.95. The Southern Company has a 12-month low of $60.99 and a 12-month high of $77.61. The company has a current ratio of 0.89, a quick ratio of 0.70 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.55. The company has a market cap of $81.70 billion, a P/E ratio of 35.60, a PEG ratio of 5.09 and a beta of 0.49.
Southern (NYSE:SO – Get Rating) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The utilities provider reported $1.07 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.84 by $0.23. Southern had a net margin of 10.09% and a return on equity of 11.35%. The business had revenue of $7.21 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.31 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.84 EPS. Southern’s revenue was up 38.6% compared to the same quarter last year. Sell-side analysts predict that The Southern Company will post 3.57 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Southern Dividend Announcement
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, August 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.68 per share. This represents a $2.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.54%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, August 12th. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is 125.93%.
Southern Company Profile
The Southern Company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. It operates through Gas Distribution Operations, Gas Pipeline Investments, Wholesale Gas Services, and Gas Marketing Services segments. The company also develops, constructs, acquires, owns, and manages power generation assets, including renewable energy projects 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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