The Southern Company (NYSE:SO) Stake Lowered by Pacer Advisors Inc.

Pacer Advisors Inc. reduced its stake in shares of The Southern Company (NYSE:SOGet Rating) by 2.7% during the 1st quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 54,506 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 1,535 shares during the period. Pacer Advisors Inc.’s holdings in Southern were worth $3,952,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Migdal Insurance & Financial Holdings Ltd. boosted its holdings in Southern by 21.3% during the third quarter. Migdal Insurance & Financial Holdings Ltd. now owns 1,734 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $107,000 after acquiring an additional 305 shares during the period. Atria Investments LLC boosted its holdings in Southern by 7.9% during the third quarter. Atria Investments LLC now owns 75,833 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $4,699,000 after acquiring an additional 5,561 shares during the period. Cetera Advisor Networks LLC boosted its holdings in Southern by 1.7% during the third quarter. Cetera Advisor Networks LLC now owns 99,391 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $6,159,000 after acquiring an additional 1,681 shares during the period. Cetera Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in 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 period. Finally, Cetera Investment Advisers boosted its holdings in 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 period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 60.58% of the company’s stock.

In other news, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 14,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, June 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $72.08, for a total transaction of $1,045,160.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 115,284 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $8,309,670.72. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, CEO Kimberly S. Greene sold 100,005 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.05, for a total transaction of $7,005,350.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 307,831 shares of company stock valued at $22,373,794 in the last three months. Company insiders own 0.37% of the company’s stock.

NYSE:SO opened at $67.69 on Thursday. The Southern Company has a 12-month low of $60.12 and a 12-month high of $77.24. The company has a quick ratio of 0.70, a current ratio of 0.89 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.55. The firm has a market capitalization of $71.92 billion, a PE ratio of 31.34, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.59 and a beta of 0.48. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $73.44 and a 200 day moving average price of $69.98.

Southern (NYSE:SOGet Rating) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 28th. The utilities provider reported $0.97 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.06. Southern had a net margin of 10.09% and a return on equity of 11.35%. The firm had revenue of $6.60 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.93 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.98 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 11.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, research analysts expect that The Southern Company will post 3.56 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, June 6th. Investors of record on Monday, May 16th were given a $0.68 dividend. This represents a $2.72 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.02%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, May 13th. This is a positive change from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.66. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is 125.93%.

SO has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. BMO Capital Markets decreased their price target on shares of Southern from $81.00 to $70.00 in a report on Wednesday. Mizuho upped their price target on shares of Southern from $67.00 to $76.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, April 21st. Morgan Stanley cut their price objective on shares of Southern from $67.00 to $66.00 and set an “underweight” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, May 23rd. Wells Fargo & Company upped their price objective on shares of Southern from $68.00 to $80.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 19th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group began coverage on shares of Southern in a research report on Monday, April 25th. They set an “underperform” rating and a $77.00 price objective for the company. 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. According to MarketBeat.com, the company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $72.88.

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

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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