Confluence Investment Management LLC Purchases 9,102 Shares of The Southern Company (NYSE:SO)

Confluence Investment Management LLC grew its stake in shares of The Southern Company (NYSE:SOGet Rating) by 0.5% in the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 1,865,810 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 9,102 shares during the quarter. Southern makes up 2.1% of Confluence Investment Management LLC’s portfolio, making the stock its 9th largest holding. Confluence Investment Management LLC owned about 0.18% of Southern worth $133,051,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Several other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in the stock. JPMorgan Chase & Co. grew its stake in shares of Southern by 7.9% in the fourth quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 2,037,257 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $139,715,000 after purchasing an additional 148,545 shares in the last quarter. Prudential PLC bought a new stake in shares of Southern during the fourth quarter valued at about $1,080,000. Advisor Resource Council bought a new stake in shares of Southern during the fourth quarter valued at about $729,000. O Shaughnessy Asset Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Southern by 2.5% during the fourth quarter. O Shaughnessy Asset Management LLC now owns 12,570 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $862,000 after purchasing an additional 309 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Gabelli Funds LLC raised its stake in shares of Southern by 0.3% during the fourth quarter. Gabelli Funds LLC now owns 453,300 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $31,087,000 after purchasing an additional 1,400 shares in the last quarter. 62.20% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Analysts Set New Price Targets

A number of brokerages recently weighed in on SO. Seaport Res Ptn restated a “buy” rating on shares of Southern in a research note on Thursday, June 30th. Argus lifted their price objective on shares of Southern from $83.00 to $87.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday. Guggenheim boosted their price target on shares of Southern from $76.00 to $80.00 in a research report on Thursday, July 21st. The Goldman Sachs Group boosted their price target on shares of Southern from $53.00 to $61.00 and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, August 22nd. Finally, UBS Group upgraded shares of Southern from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their price target for the stock from $76.00 to $87.00 in a research report on Thursday, August 4th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company. Based on data from MarketBeat, the stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $75.67.

Insider Activity

In other news, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 14,500 shares of Southern stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $72.92, for a total transaction of $1,057,340.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 115,284 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,406,509.28. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. In other news, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 14,500 shares of Southern stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $72.92, for a total transaction of $1,057,340.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 115,284 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,406,509.28. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, EVP James Y. Kerr II sold 25,000 shares of Southern stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $76.00, for a total transaction of $1,900,000.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 136,987 shares in the company, valued at $10,411,012. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 54,000 shares of company stock worth $4,109,655. Corporate insiders own 0.37% of the company’s stock.

Southern Stock Performance

NYSE:SO opened at $77.25 on Friday. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $76.61 and its 200-day moving average is $73.73. The Southern Company has a 52-week low of $60.99 and a 52-week high of $80.57. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.55, a quick ratio of 0.67 and a current ratio of 0.85. The company has a market cap of $82.12 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.20, a PEG ratio of 5.32 and a beta of 0.50.

Southern (NYSE:SOGet Rating) last posted its quarterly earnings data 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. Southern had a net margin of 12.13% and a return on equity of 12.09%. The company had revenue of $7.21 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.31 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.84 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 38.6% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts anticipate that The Southern Company will post 3.63 earnings per share for the current year.

Southern Dividend Announcement

The firm 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 3.52%. Southern’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 95.77%.

About Southern

(Get Rating)

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.

Further Reading

Want to see what other hedge funds are holding SO? Visit HoldingsChannel.com to get the latest 13F filings and insider trades for The Southern Company (NYSE:SOGet Rating).

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Southern (NYSE:SO)

Receive News & Ratings for Southern Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Southern and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.