Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co. Ltd. Grows Stock Position in The Southern Company (NYSE:SO)

Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co. Ltd. lifted its position in shares of The Southern Company (NYSE:SO) by 4.9% during the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 317,582 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 14,779 shares during the period. Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co. Ltd.’s holdings in The Southern were worth $19,509,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in SO. Nikulski Financial Inc. boosted its position in The Southern by 5.8% in the 4th quarter. Nikulski Financial Inc. now owns 5,555 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $341,000 after buying an additional 305 shares during the last quarter. Buckhead Capital Management LLC grew its stake in The Southern by 0.9% during the 4th quarter. Buckhead Capital Management LLC now owns 130,139 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $7,994,000 after purchasing an additional 1,216 shares in the last quarter. ProShare Advisors LLC increased its holdings in The Southern by 10.4% during the 4th quarter. ProShare Advisors LLC now owns 135,974 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $8,353,000 after purchasing an additional 12,771 shares during the last quarter. Great Lakes Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of The Southern in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $224,000. Finally, Philadelphia Trust Co. raised its position in shares of The Southern by 6.3% in the 4th quarter. Philadelphia Trust Co. now owns 17,555 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,078,000 after purchasing an additional 1,035 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 57.62% of the company’s stock.

NYSE SO opened at $59.29 on Tuesday. The company has a current ratio of 0.90, a quick ratio of 0.73 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.40. The Southern Company has a 1-year low of $41.96 and a 1-year high of $69.47. The firm’s fifty day simple moving average is $60.07 and its 200-day simple moving average is $58.15. The company has a market capitalization of $62.62 billion, a PE ratio of 19.76, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.56 and a beta of 0.39.

The Southern (NYSE:SO) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, February 17th. The utilities provider reported $0.47 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.42 by $0.05. The Southern had a return on equity of 10.08% and a net margin of 15.80%. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.27 EPS. As a group, analysts predict that The Southern Company will post 3.19 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, March 8th. Investors of record on Tuesday, February 16th will be paid a $0.64 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, February 12th. This represents a $2.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.32%. The Southern’s payout ratio is 82.32%.

SO has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. BMO Capital Markets began coverage on shares of The Southern in a research note on Tuesday, November 24th. They set a “market perform” rating and a $67.00 price objective on the stock. Bank of America raised The Southern from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $64.00 target price on the stock in a report on Tuesday, January 19th. Barclays upped their price target on The Southern from $61.00 to $73.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 18th. Evercore ISI cut shares of The Southern from an “in-line” rating to an “underperform” rating and set a $61.00 target price on the stock. in a report on Thursday, January 21st. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company raised shares of The Southern from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and increased their price objective for the stock from $63.00 to $72.00 in a report on Tuesday, December 1st. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The Southern currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $64.33.

In other news, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 2,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, December 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $60.93, for a total value of $152,325.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 64,496 shares in the company, valued at $3,929,741.28. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, CEO Kimberly S. Greene sold 30,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, December 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.96, for a total transaction of $1,858,800.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 50,291 shares in the company, valued at $3,116,030.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 37,500 shares of company stock valued at $2,316,600. 0.39% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

About The Southern

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 The Southern (NYSE:SO)

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