The Southern Company (NYSE:SO) Shares Acquired by Gradient Investments LLC

Gradient Investments LLC raised its holdings in shares of The Southern Company (NYSE:SOGet Rating) by 12.5% in the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 8,102 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after acquiring an additional 900 shares during the period. Gradient Investments LLC’s holdings in Southern were worth $578,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of the business. Ipswich Investment Management Co. Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Southern by 1.9% during the 1st quarter. Ipswich Investment Management Co. Inc. now owns 17,739 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,286,000 after purchasing an additional 330 shares in the last quarter. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Southern by 4.0% during the 1st quarter. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. now owns 17,763 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,288,000 after purchasing an additional 679 shares in the last quarter. Cozad Asset Management Inc. increased its holdings in Southern by 44.0% in the 1st quarter. Cozad Asset Management Inc. now owns 5,951 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $431,000 after acquiring an additional 1,819 shares in the last quarter. Equitable Trust Co. increased its holdings in Southern by 31.0% in the 1st quarter. Equitable Trust Co. now owns 6,638 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $482,000 after acquiring an additional 1,569 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Comprehensive Financial Consultants Institutional Inc. purchased a new stake in Southern in the 4th quarter worth $161,000. 62.20% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades

SO has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. Barclays cut their price target on shares of Southern from $82.00 to $79.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a report on Monday, July 18th. Argus boosted their price target on shares of Southern from $83.00 to $87.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, September 14th. Seaport Res Ptn reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Southern in a report on Thursday, June 30th. 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 report on Monday, August 22nd. Finally, UBS Group raised 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 report on Thursday, August 4th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, Southern currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $75.67.

Insider Buying and Selling at Southern

In other Southern news, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 14,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $79.47, for a total value of $1,152,315.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 115,284 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $9,161,619.48. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. In other news, EVP James Y. Kerr II sold 25,000 shares of the 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 of the company’s stock, valued at $10,411,012. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 14,500 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $79.47, for a total transaction of $1,152,315.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 115,284 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,161,619.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 54,000 shares of company stock valued at $4,109,655 over the last 90 days. 0.37% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Southern Trading Up 1.3 %

Shares of SO stock opened at $78.27 on Tuesday. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $76.61 and its 200-day moving average price is $73.84. The company has a current ratio of 0.85, a quick ratio of 0.67 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.55. The stock has a market cap of $83.20 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.56, a PEG ratio of 5.31 and a beta of 0.50. The Southern Company has a twelve month low of $60.99 and a twelve month high of $80.57.

Southern (NYSE:SOGet Rating) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The utilities provider reported $1.07 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.84 by $0.23. The firm had revenue of $7.21 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.31 billion. Southern had a net margin of 12.13% and a return on equity of 12.09%. The company’s revenue was up 38.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.84 EPS. As a group, equities analysts predict that The Southern Company will post 3.63 earnings per share for the current year.

Southern Announces Dividend

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, September 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, August 15th were given a $0.68 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, August 12th. This represents a $2.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.48%. Southern’s payout ratio 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.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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