Connectus Wealth LLC Reduces Position in The Southern Company (NYSE:SO)

Connectus Wealth LLC cut its holdings in shares of The Southern Company (NYSE:SOFree Report) by 1.0% during the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 15,910 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 156 shares during the quarter. Connectus Wealth LLC’s holdings in Southern were worth $1,116,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently modified their holdings of SO. WealthPlan Investment Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Southern in the third quarter worth about $210,000. Deutsche Bank AG increased its position in shares of Southern by 2.2% in the third quarter. Deutsche Bank AG now owns 1,424,884 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $92,218,000 after purchasing an additional 30,594 shares during the last quarter. Montag A & Associates Inc. increased its position in shares of Southern by 1.0% in the third quarter. Montag A & Associates Inc. now owns 61,518 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,981,000 after purchasing an additional 579 shares during the last quarter. Longfellow Investment Management Co. LLC bought a new position in shares of Southern in the third quarter worth approximately $662,000. Finally, Rhumbline Advisers increased its position in shares of Southern by 2.0% in the third quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 2,121,940 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $137,332,000 after purchasing an additional 42,459 shares during the last quarter. 64.10% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Southern Stock Performance

Shares of SO stock opened at $78.97 on Tuesday. The stock has a fifty day moving average of $75.25 and a 200 day moving average of $71.56. The Southern Company has a 52 week low of $61.56 and a 52 week high of $80.84. The firm has a market capitalization of $86.35 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.41, a PEG ratio of 2.80 and a beta of 0.51. The company has a quick ratio of 0.65, a current ratio of 0.92 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.67.

Southern (NYSE:SOGet Free Report) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 2nd. The utilities provider reported $1.03 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.90 by $0.13. Southern had a return on equity of 12.07% and a net margin of 16.74%. The company had revenue of $6.65 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $6.59 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.79 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 2.6% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts expect that The Southern Company will post 4 earnings per share for the current year.

Southern Increases Dividend

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, June 6th. Investors of record on Monday, May 20th were paid a $0.72 dividend. This is a positive change from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.70. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, May 17th. This represents a $2.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.65%. Southern’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 74.42%.

Wall Street Analyst Weigh In

Several research firms recently weighed in on SO. Scotiabank decreased their price objective on shares of Southern from $80.00 to $77.00 and set a “sector outperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, April 22nd. Mizuho upped their price objective on shares of Southern from $73.00 to $76.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 2nd. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated an “outperform” rating and set a $80.00 price target on shares of Southern in a research report on Wednesday, February 21st. UBS Group cut shares of Southern from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and reduced their price target for the company from $78.00 to $76.00 in a research report on Thursday, April 4th. Finally, Morgan Stanley increased their price target on shares of Southern from $67.00 to $74.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 28th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating, seven have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. According to data from MarketBeat.com, the company has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average price target of $76.36.

Read Our Latest Report on Southern

Insider Buying and Selling

In other Southern news, CEO Kimberly S. Greene sold 9,126 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $75.04, for a total transaction of $684,815.04. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 121,504 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $9,117,660.16. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. 0.18% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

About Southern

(Free Report)

The Southern Company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. 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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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