Willis Investment Counsel lessened its stake in shares of The Southern Company (NYSE:SO – Free Report) by 5.9% during the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 3,757 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 235 shares during the period. Willis Investment Counsel’s holdings in Southern were worth $264,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.
Several other institutional investors and hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of the stock. MRP Capital Investments LLC bought a new stake in Southern in the first quarter valued at approximately $30,000. Sanctuary Wealth Management L.L.C. bought a new stake in Southern in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $34,000. Tanglewood Legacy Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Southern in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $36,000. TD Capital Management LLC raised its stake in Southern by 122.0% in the first quarter. TD Capital Management LLC now owns 546 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $38,000 after buying an additional 300 shares during the period. Finally, Cascade Investment Advisors Inc. bought a new stake in Southern in the first quarter valued at approximately $42,000. Institutional investors own 62.85% of the company’s stock.
Insider Buying and Selling
In related news, EVP Martin Bernard Davis sold 1,490 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $67.05, for a total transaction 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 approximately $4,878,289.80. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. In other news, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 5,000 shares of Southern stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.58, for a total value of $352,900.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 131,284 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,266,024.72. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Martin Bernard Davis sold 1,490 shares of Southern stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 5th. The stock was 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 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. Insiders own 0.28% of the company’s stock.
Southern Price Performance
Southern (NYSE:SO – Get Free Report) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 3rd. The utilities provider reported $0.79 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.74 by $0.05. Southern had a return on equity of 9.86% and a net margin of 11.17%. The company had revenue of $5.75 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $6.47 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.07 EPS. Southern’s revenue for the quarter was down 20.2% on a year-over-year basis. Sell-side analysts forecast that The Southern Company will post 3.6 earnings per share for the current year.
Southern Announces Dividend
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, September 6th. Investors of record on Monday, August 21st were given a dividend of $0.70 per share. This represents a $2.80 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.94%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, August 18th. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is currently 98.94%.
Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades
A number of equities analysts have recently weighed in on the company. StockNews.com assumed coverage on Southern in a research note on Saturday, August 19th. They set a “sell” rating on the stock. Barclays assumed coverage on Southern in a research note on Wednesday, August 23rd. They set an “equal weight” rating and a $68.00 target price on the stock. Wells Fargo & Company lowered their target price on Southern from $75.00 to $74.00 in a research note on Friday, August 4th. BMO Capital Markets lowered their target price on Southern from $72.00 to $70.00 and set a “market perform” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, August 31st. Finally, The Goldman Sachs Group raised Southern from a “buy” rating to a “conviction-buy” rating in a research report on Monday, July 3rd. Three equities research 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 MarketBeat.com, the stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $73.13.
Southern Company Profile
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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