Bell Bank Sells 3,278 Shares of Southern Co (NYSE:SO)

Bell Bank reduced its stake in shares of Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 5.4% in the 1st quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The fund owned 57,392 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 3,278 shares during the period. Southern makes up 0.8% of Bell Bank’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 23rd largest position. Bell Bank’s holdings in Southern were worth $2,966,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Western Wealth Management LLC increased its position in shares of Southern by 3.4% during the first quarter. Western Wealth Management LLC now owns 5,833 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $307,000 after purchasing an additional 193 shares in the last quarter. Webster Bank N. A. increased its position in shares of Southern by 15.3% during the first quarter. Webster Bank N. A. now owns 1,509 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $78,000 after purchasing an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. Home Federal Bank of Tennessee increased its position in shares of Southern by 1.4% during the first quarter. Home Federal Bank of Tennessee now owns 14,242 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $736,000 after purchasing an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. Resources Management Corp CT ADV increased its position in shares of Southern by 1.8% during the fourth quarter. Resources Management Corp CT ADV now owns 11,261 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $494,000 after purchasing an additional 201 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. increased its position in shares of Southern by 1.3% during the first quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 15,156 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $783,000 after purchasing an additional 201 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 56.67% of the company’s stock.

In other Southern news, Director Anthony F. Earley, Jr. purchased 620 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 14th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $51.83 per share, with a total value of $32,134.60. Following the purchase, the director now directly owns 23,000 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,192,090. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CEO William P. Bowers sold 233,477 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, April 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.29, for a total value of $11,975,035.33. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 354,212 shares in the company, valued at approximately $18,167,533.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 708,324 shares of company stock worth $37,841,279. Corporate insiders own 0.88% of the company’s stock.



Several analysts recently commented on SO shares. Evercore ISI upgraded Southern from an “in-line” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, May 3rd. reiterated a “sell” rating on shares of Southern in a research report on Wednesday, February 13th. SunTrust Banks reissued a “hold” rating and set a $52.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a research note on Monday, February 25th. reissued a “sell” rating on shares of Southern in a research note on Wednesday, February 13th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $61.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Monday, May 20th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $48.23.

NYSE SO opened at $54.55 on Wednesday. The firm has a market cap of $56.80 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.77, a P/E/G ratio of 4.01 and a beta of 0.19. The company has a current ratio of 0.88, a quick ratio of 0.69 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.37. Southern Co has a fifty-two week low of $42.50 and a fifty-two week high of $55.95.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 1st. The utilities provider reported $0.70 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.70. The company had revenue of $5.41 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.66 billion. Southern had a return on equity of 10.37% and a net margin of 15.03%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 15.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.88 earnings per share. Equities analysts anticipate that Southern Co will post 3.03 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, June 6th. Stockholders of record on Monday, May 20th were paid a $0.62 dividend. This represents a $2.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.55%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, May 17th. This is a positive change from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.60. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is 80.78%.

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Southern Profile

The Southern Company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. It operates in four segments: Gas Distribution Operations, Gas Pipeline Investments, Wholesale Gas Services, and Gas Marketing Services. The company also constructs, acquires, owns, and manages power generation assets, including renewable energy facilities 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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