The Southern Company (NYSE:SO) CEO Sells $3,758,000.00 in Stock

The Southern Company (NYSE:SOGet Rating) CEO Thomas A. Fanning sold 50,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $75.16, for a total transaction of $3,758,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 847,592 shares in the company, valued at $63,705,014.72. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink.

Southern Price Performance

Shares of SO stock opened at $73.35 on Friday. The Southern Company has a 1 year low of $58.85 and a 1 year high of $80.57. The company has a current ratio of 0.69, a quick ratio of 0.51 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.51. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $70.59 and its 200-day moving average is $68.64. The firm has a market capitalization of $79.98 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.66, a PEG ratio of 5.16 and a beta of 0.51.

Southern (NYSE:SOGet Rating) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 27th. The utilities provider reported $0.79 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.71 by $0.08. The firm had revenue of $6.48 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $6.14 billion. Southern had a return on equity of 10.78% and a net margin of 11.53%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.97 EPS. Sell-side analysts forecast that The Southern Company will post 3.61 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Southern Increases Dividend

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, June 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, May 15th will be given a dividend of $0.70 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, May 12th. This is an increase from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.68. This represents a $2.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.82%. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is presently 87.74%.

Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades

SO has been the topic of several research analyst reports. Morgan Stanley raised their price target on shares of Southern from $57.00 to $63.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 20th. 1-800-FLOWERS.COM reissued a “maintains” rating on shares of Southern in a report on Friday, April 28th. Royal Bank of Canada decreased their price objective on Southern from $79.00 to $78.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, March 2nd. lowered Southern from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 9th. Finally, Guggenheim lifted their target price on shares of Southern from $73.00 to $79.00 in a research report on Monday, April 24th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to data from MarketBeat, the company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $73.14.

Institutional Inflows and Outflows

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Bell Investment Advisors Inc lifted its stake in shares of Southern by 127.6% in the 4th quarter. Bell Investment Advisors Inc now owns 421 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $30,000 after purchasing an additional 236 shares during the period. Horizon Bancorp Inc. IN acquired a new stake in shares of Southern in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $30,000. MRP Capital Investments LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Southern in the 1st quarter valued at approximately $30,000. VitalStone Financial LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Southern in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $34,000. Finally, Sanctuary Wealth Management L.L.C. acquired a new stake in shares of Southern in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $34,000. 61.78% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Southern

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The Southern Co is a holding company, which engages in the generation and sale of electricity. It operates through the following segments: Traditional Electric Operating Companies, Southern Power and Southern Company Gas. The Traditional Electric Operating Companies segment refers to vertically integrated utilities that own generation, transmission and distribution facilities, and supplies electric services in the states of Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Mississippi.

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