Daiwa Securities Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 8.3% during the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 43,677 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after buying an additional 3,331 shares during the quarter. Daiwa Securities Group Inc.’s holdings in Southern were worth $2,698,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in the business. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Southern by 3.4% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 88,169,680 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $4,874,020,000 after acquiring an additional 2,923,497 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in shares of Southern by 2.2% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 70,040,340 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,871,830,000 after acquiring an additional 1,479,813 shares in the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp raised its position in shares of Southern by 2.8% in the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 12,493,021 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $690,614,000 after acquiring an additional 344,398 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its position in shares of Southern by 0.5% in the 2nd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 12,132,966 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $670,710,000 after acquiring an additional 64,362 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its position in shares of Southern by 1.5% in the 2nd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 9,159,803 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $506,354,000 after acquiring an additional 138,800 shares in the last quarter. 58.51% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Several research analysts have recently weighed in on SO shares. Citigroup lifted their price objective on Southern from $55.00 to $61.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 29th. UBS Group lifted their price objective on Southern from $58.00 to $62.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, September 6th. Bank of America boosted their target price on Southern from $60.00 to $64.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, September 12th. Morgan Stanley decreased their target price on Southern from $55.00 to $54.00 and set an “underweight” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, August 16th. Finally, SunTrust Banks set a $59.00 target price on Southern and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 3rd. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $56.80.
Southern (NYSE:SO) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, October 30th. The utilities provider reported $1.34 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.14 by $0.20. Southern had a return on equity of 10.52% and a net margin of 21.02%. The business had revenue of $6 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $6.01 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.14 EPS. The firm’s revenue was down 2.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, sell-side analysts expect that Southern Co will post 3.09 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 6th. Investors of record on Monday, November 18th will be given a $0.62 dividend. This represents a $2.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.05%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 15th. Southern’s payout ratio is 80.78%.
In other Southern news, EVP James Y. Kerr II sold 25,000 shares of Southern stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.16, for a total transaction of $1,554,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 67,655 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,205,434.80. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 2,000 shares of Southern stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $58.28, for a total value of $116,560.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 69,772 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,066,312.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 177,533 shares of company stock valued at $10,941,987 over the last ninety days. 0.88% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
Southern Company 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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