Cornerstone Advisory LLC lifted its position in shares of The Southern Company (NYSE:SO – Get Rating) by 23.5% during the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 8,002 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 1,524 shares during the period. Cornerstone Advisory LLC’s holdings in Southern were worth $580,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in SO. Pinebridge Investments L.P. raised its position in Southern by 139.9% during the fourth quarter. Pinebridge Investments L.P. now owns 3,025 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $207,000 after acquiring an additional 1,764 shares in the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted its stake in Southern by 7.9% during the fourth quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 2,037,257 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $139,715,000 after buying an additional 148,545 shares in the last quarter. Covestor Ltd acquired a new stake in Southern during the fourth quarter worth $80,000. Citizens Financial Group Inc RI boosted its stake in Southern by 2.2% during the fourth quarter. Citizens Financial Group Inc RI now owns 14,491 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $973,000 after buying an additional 315 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Prudential PLC bought a new position in shares of Southern during the fourth quarter valued at $1,080,000. Institutional investors own 62.20% of the company’s stock.
Insider Transactions at Southern
In related news, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 14,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $79.47, for a total value of $1,152,315.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 115,284 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,161,619.48. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. In related news, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 14,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $79.47, for a total value of $1,152,315.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 115,284 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,161,619.48. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP James Y. Kerr II sold 25,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $76.00, for a total value of $1,900,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 136,987 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $10,411,012. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 54,000 shares of company stock worth $4,109,655. 0.37% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
Southern Price Performance
Southern (NYSE:SO – Get Rating) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The utilities provider reported $1.07 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.84 by $0.23. The company had revenue of $7.21 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.31 billion. Southern had a return on equity of 12.09% and a net margin of 12.13%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 38.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.84 EPS. On average, equities analysts anticipate that The Southern Company will post 3.63 EPS for the current year.
Southern Dividend Announcement
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, September 6th. Stockholders of record on Monday, August 15th were given a dividend of $0.68 per share. The ex-dividend date was Friday, August 12th. This represents a $2.72 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.42%. Southern’s payout ratio is currently 95.77%.
Wall Street Analyst Weigh In
A number of research analysts recently issued reports on the company. Morgan Stanley lifted their price target on Southern from $63.00 to $69.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 23rd. UBS Group raised Southern from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price target for the company from $76.00 to $87.00 in a report on Thursday, August 4th. The Goldman Sachs Group lifted their price target on Southern from $53.00 to $61.00 and gave the company a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, August 22nd. BMO Capital Markets cut their price target on Southern from $81.00 to $70.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, June 22nd. Finally, Guggenheim boosted their price objective on Southern from $76.00 to $80.00 in a report on Thursday, July 21st. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. According to MarketBeat, the stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $75.67.
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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