Welch Group LLC cut its stake in shares of Southern Co. (NYSE:SO) by 25.3% during the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 294,800 shares of the company’s stock after selling 99,606 shares during the period. Southern makes up 3.2% of Welch Group LLC’s portfolio, making the stock its 8th largest position. Welch Group LLC’s holdings in Southern were worth $15,810,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Other hedge funds have also added to or reduced their stakes in the company. MCF Advisors LLC boosted its position in Southern by 89.2% in the first quarter. MCF Advisors LLC now owns 2,543 shares of the company’s stock valued at $132,000 after buying an additional 1,199 shares in the last quarter. Zions Bancorporation boosted its position in Southern by 1.3% in the first quarter. Zions Bancorporation now owns 2,559 shares of the company’s stock worth $132,000 after buying an additional 32 shares in the last quarter. Barnett & Company Inc. bought a new position in Southern during the first quarter worth $155,000. First New York Securities LLC NY bought a new position in Southern during the second quarter worth $166,000. Finally, Cribstone Capital Management LLC bought a new position in Southern during the second quarter worth $184,000. 48.64% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Shares of Southern Co. (NYSE:SO) traded down 0.64% during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $49.52. 5,617,546 shares of the company were exchanged. Southern Co. has a 52-week low of $43.38 and a 52-week high of $54.64. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $51.86 and a 200-day moving average price of $51.43. The stock has a market capitalization of $46.63 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.66 and a beta of 0.08.
Southern (NYSE:SO) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $0.74 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.70 by $0.04. Southern had a return on equity of 12.50% and a net margin of 13.77%. The business earned $4.45 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.54 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.71 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.7% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that Southern Co. will post $2.86 EPS for the current year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, September 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, August 15th were issued a $0.56 dividend. This represents a $2.24 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.52%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, August 11th. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is presently 87.50%.
A number of research firms have weighed in on SO. Jefferies Group restated a “hold” rating on shares of Southern in a research report on Monday, July 11th. Argus restated a “buy” rating on shares of Southern in a research report on Wednesday, June 15th. Mizuho restated a “hold” rating and set a $50.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a research report on Monday, July 11th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. restated a “neutral” rating and set a $54.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a research report on Thursday, July 14th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $60.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, September 27th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $53.50.
In other Southern news, CEO Stan W. Connally sold 14,392 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.75, for a total value of $773,570.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 17,716 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $952,235. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 46,008 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.40, for a total value of $2,456,827.20. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 56,149 shares in the company, valued at $2,998,356.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.00% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
Southern Company Profile
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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