Buttonwood Financial Advisors Inc. grew its stake in shares of The Southern Company (NYSE:SO – Free Report) by 43.1% during the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 4,775 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after acquiring an additional 1,438 shares during the period. Buttonwood Financial Advisors Inc.’s holdings in Southern were worth $335,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other large investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Jeppson Wealth Management LLC lifted its stake in Southern by 1.3% in the 1st quarter. Jeppson Wealth Management LLC now owns 10,651 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $741,000 after purchasing an additional 140 shares in the last quarter. JFS Wealth Advisors LLC increased its stake in Southern by 10.2% in the 1st quarter. JFS Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 1,534 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $107,000 after acquiring an additional 142 shares during the last quarter. Tranquility Partners LLC raised its holdings in shares of Southern by 3.3% in the 1st quarter. Tranquility Partners LLC now owns 4,528 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $315,000 after acquiring an additional 144 shares in the last quarter. Marcum Wealth LLC boosted its position in shares of Southern by 2.8% during the 1st quarter. Marcum Wealth LLC now owns 5,327 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $371,000 after acquiring an additional 145 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Calamos Wealth Management LLC increased its position in shares of Southern by 0.5% in the first quarter. Calamos Wealth Management LLC now owns 29,642 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,062,000 after purchasing an additional 145 shares during the last quarter. 62.85% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades
A number of equities analysts have commented on SO shares. JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut their price target on shares of Southern from $73.00 to $69.00 in a research note on Thursday, June 8th. The Goldman Sachs Group raised Southern from a “buy” rating to a “conviction-buy” rating in a research note on Monday, July 3rd. Bank of America raised Southern from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and raised their price objective for the company from $67.00 to $68.00 in a report on Wednesday. StockNews.com initiated coverage on shares of Southern in a report on Saturday, August 19th. They issued a “sell” rating for the company. Finally, Guggenheim decreased their target price on shares of Southern from $79.00 to $77.00 in a research report on Friday, July 7th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating, five have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. According to data from MarketBeat, Southern presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $73.13.
Insider Activity at Southern
In other news, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.58, for a total value of $352,900.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 131,284 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,266,024.72. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. In other Southern news, EVP Martin Bernard Davis sold 1,490 shares of Southern stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $67.05, for a total value of $99,904.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 72,756 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,878,289.80. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $70.58, for a total transaction of $352,900.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 131,284 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,266,024.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 41,490 shares of company stock valued at $2,934,355 in the last three months. Company insiders own 0.28% of the company’s stock.
Southern Trading Up 0.3 %
NYSE:SO traded up $0.19 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $71.09. The company had a trading volume of 7,353,143 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,070,562. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.59, a current ratio of 0.83 and a quick ratio of 0.62. The Southern Company has a 52 week low of $58.85 and a 52 week high of $78.34. The company has a market capitalization of $77.53 billion, a PE ratio of 25.12, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.92 and a beta of 0.52. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $69.42 and a 200 day moving average price of $69.95.
Southern (NYSE:SO – Get Free Report) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 3rd. The utilities provider reported $0.79 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.74 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $5.75 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $6.47 billion. Southern had a net margin of 11.17% and a return on equity of 9.86%. Southern’s revenue was down 20.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.07 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts predict that The Southern Company will post 3.6 EPS for the current fiscal year.
Southern Announces Dividend
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, September 6th. Investors of record on Monday, August 21st were paid a $0.70 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, August 18th. This represents a $2.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.94%. Southern’s payout ratio is 98.94%.
The Southern Company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. It operates through three segments: Gas Distribution Operations, Gas Pipeline Investments, and Gas Marketing Services. 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, gas distribution operations, and gas pipeline investments operations.
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