Cetera Investment Advisers lifted its stake in shares of Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 8.1% during the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 25,107 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 1,887 shares during the quarter. Cetera Investment Advisers’ holdings in Southern were worth $1,550,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted 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 purchasing an additional 2,923,497 shares during the period. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. lifted its position in shares of Southern by 449.2% during the 2nd quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. now owns 3,322,449 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $183,665,000 after acquiring an additional 2,717,467 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in shares of Southern by 2.2% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 70,040,340 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,871,830,000 after acquiring an additional 1,479,813 shares during the period. Invesco Ltd. lifted its position in shares of Southern by 22.4% during the 2nd quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 7,200,728 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $398,057,000 after acquiring an additional 1,319,096 shares during the period. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System lifted its position in shares of Southern by 19.0% during the 2nd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 7,614,081 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $420,906,000 after acquiring an additional 1,215,420 shares during the period. 58.21% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
In other news, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 123,533 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, October 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.87, for a total value of $7,642,986.71. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 191,305 shares in the company, valued at approximately $11,836,040.35. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, EVP James Y. Kerr II sold 25,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.16, for a total transaction of $1,504,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 67,655 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,070,124.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 177,533 shares of company stock worth $10,941,987. Corporate insiders own 0.88% of the company’s stock.
Southern (NYSE:SO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 30th. The utilities provider reported $1.34 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.20. Southern had a net margin of 21.02% and a return on equity of 10.52%. The firm had revenue of $6 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $6.01 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.14 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was down 2.7% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities analysts forecast that Southern Co will post 3.09 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, November 18th will be issued a dividend of $0.62 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 15th. This represents a $2.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.97%. Southern’s payout ratio is 80.78%.
A number of research analysts recently issued reports on the stock. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 6th. SunTrust Banks set a $59.00 target price on shares of Southern and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 3rd. Morgan Stanley dropped their target price on shares of Southern from $55.00 to $54.00 and set an “underweight” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, August 16th. UBS Group boosted their target price on shares of Southern from $58.00 to $62.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, September 6th. Finally, Bank of America boosted their target price on shares of Southern from $60.00 to $64.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, September 12th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. Southern presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $56.80.
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.
Further Reading: Average Daily Trade Volume – ADTV
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