Private Trust Co. NA grew its position in The Southern Company (NYSE:SO – Get Rating) by 3.7% in the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 18,857 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after buying an additional 678 shares during the quarter. Private Trust Co. NA’s holdings in Southern were worth $1,367,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Several other hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in SO. Migdal Insurance & Financial Holdings Ltd. increased its position in shares of Southern by 21.3% in the third quarter. Migdal Insurance & Financial Holdings Ltd. now owns 1,734 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $107,000 after buying an additional 305 shares in the last quarter. Atria Investments LLC increased its position in shares of Southern by 7.9% in the third quarter. Atria Investments LLC now owns 75,833 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $4,699,000 after buying an additional 5,561 shares in the last quarter. Cetera Advisor Networks LLC increased its position in shares of Southern by 1.7% in the third quarter. Cetera Advisor Networks LLC now owns 99,391 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $6,159,000 after buying an additional 1,681 shares in the last quarter. Cetera Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of Southern by 17.6% during the third quarter. Cetera Advisors LLC now owns 92,819 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $5,752,000 after acquiring an additional 13,873 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Cetera Investment Advisers boosted its stake in shares of Southern by 2.2% during the third quarter. Cetera Investment Advisers now owns 118,734 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $7,358,000 after acquiring an additional 2,599 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 60.58% of the company’s stock.
A number of analysts recently commented on the company. Mizuho increased their price objective on Southern from $67.00 to $76.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 21st. Morgan Stanley decreased their price objective on Southern from $67.00 to $66.00 and set an “underweight” rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, May 23rd. Credit Suisse Group assumed coverage on Southern in a research note on Monday, April 25th. They set an “underperform” rating and a $77.00 price objective on the stock. BMO Capital Markets decreased their price objective on Southern from $81.00 to $70.00 in a research note on Wednesday. Finally, StockNews.com began coverage on Southern in a research note on Thursday, March 31st. They set a “hold” rating on the stock. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $72.88.
Southern (NYSE:SO – Get Rating) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 28th. The utilities provider reported $0.97 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.91 by $0.06. The company had revenue of $6.60 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.93 billion. Southern had a return on equity of 11.35% and a net margin of 10.09%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 11.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.98 EPS. As a group, research analysts forecast that The Southern Company will post 3.56 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, June 6th. Stockholders of record on Monday, May 16th were issued a $0.68 dividend. This represents a $2.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.02%. This is an increase from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.66. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, May 13th. Southern’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 125.93%.
In related news, EVP Bryan D. Anderson sold 26,917 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, April 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $75.96, for a total transaction of $2,044,615.32. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 30,660 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,328,933.60. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 14,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $72.08, for a total value of $1,045,160.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 115,284 shares in the company, valued at $8,309,670.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 307,831 shares of company stock worth $22,373,794. Company insiders own 0.37% of the company’s stock.
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.
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