Meeder Asset Management Inc. raised its position in Southern Co. (NYSE:SO) by 25.9% during the second quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 18,247 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 3,757 shares during the period. Meeder Asset Management Inc.’s holdings in Southern were worth $979,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.
Several other large investors have also modified their holdings of the company. Edgar Lomax Co. VA raised its stake in shares of Southern by 23.5% in the first quarter. Edgar Lomax Co. VA now owns 555,384 shares of the company’s stock worth $28,730,000 after buying an additional 105,850 shares in the last quarter. National Pension Service raised its stake in shares of Southern by 4.1% in the first quarter. National Pension Service now owns 492,733 shares of the company’s stock worth $25,489,000 after buying an additional 19,548 shares in the last quarter. Arizona State Retirement System raised its stake in shares of Southern by 1.7% in the first quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 503,168 shares of the company’s stock worth $26,029,000 after buying an additional 8,300 shares in the last quarter. Eastern Bank raised its stake in shares of Southern by 2.8% in the second quarter. Eastern Bank now owns 7,026 shares of the company’s stock worth $377,000 after buying an additional 193 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Prudential PLC raised its stake in shares of Southern by 41.4% in the first quarter. Prudential PLC now owns 55,747 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,884,000 after buying an additional 16,334 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 48.64% of the company’s stock.
Southern Co. (NYSE:SO) traded down 1.44% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $51.30. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 7,048,679 shares. The company has a market cap of $48.30 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.37 and a beta of 0.05. Southern Co. has a 12-month low of $43.38 and a 12-month high of $54.64. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $51.95 and its 200-day moving average is $51.42.
Southern (NYSE:SO) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $0.74 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.70 by $0.04. The company earned $4.45 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.54 billion. Southern had a return on equity of 12.50% and a net margin of 13.77%. Southern’s revenue was up 2.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.71 earnings per share. Analysts predict that Southern Co. will post $2.86 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, September 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, August 15th were issued a dividend of $0.56 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, August 11th. This represents a $2.24 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.37%. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is currently 87.50%.
A number of equities research analysts have recently weighed in on SO shares. SunTrust Banks Inc. cut their price objective on Southern from $52.00 to $51.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, September 12th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $60.00 target price for the company in a research note on Tuesday, September 27th. Barclays PLC upgraded Southern from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and raised their target price for the company from $54.00 to $62.00 in a research note on Thursday, July 14th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. restated a “neutral” rating and issued a $54.00 target price on shares of Southern in a research note on Thursday, July 14th. Finally, Jefferies Group restated a “hold” rating on shares of Southern in a research note on Monday, July 11th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $53.50.
In other news, CEO Stan W. Connally sold 14,392 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.75, for a total transaction of $773,570.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 17,716 shares in the company, valued at approximately $952,235. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CEO Mark Lantrip sold 35,884 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, July 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.00, for a total value of $1,937,736.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 41,934 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,264,436. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 1.00% of the company’s stock.
The Southern Company (Southern Company) is a holding company. The Company owns all of the stock of the traditional operating companies and Southern Power Company (Southern Power), and owns other direct and indirect subsidiaries. Southern Company’s segments include the sale of electricity by four traditional operating companies, Southern Power and All Other.
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