Westpac Banking Corp increased its position in Southern Co. (NYSE:SO) by 42.4% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 54,500 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 16,230 shares during the period. Westpac Banking Corp’s holdings in Southern were worth $2,923,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.
Other hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of the company. State Street Corp increased its stake in Southern by 7.9% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 45,685,547 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,363,311,000 after buying an additional 3,331,298 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in Southern by 5.6% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 60,379,260 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,238,139,000 after buying an additional 3,222,084 shares during the period. Emerald Acquisition Ltd. acquired a new stake in Southern during the second quarter valued at $90,503,000. Bank of Montreal Can acquired a new stake in Southern during the second quarter valued at $77,486,000. Finally, BlackRock Fund Advisors increased its stake in Southern by 8.8% in the first quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 16,837,913 shares of the company’s stock valued at $871,025,000 after buying an additional 1,356,320 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 48.64% of the company’s stock.
Shares of Southern Co. (NYSE:SO) traded down 0.11% during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $53.25. The stock had a trading volume of 601,282 shares. Southern Co. has a one year low of $43.38 and a one year high of $54.64. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $52.00 and a 200 day moving average price of $51.37. The stock has a market cap of $50.14 billion, a PE ratio of 21.14 and a beta of 0.05.
Southern (NYSE:SO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $0.74 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.70 by $0.04. Southern had a return on equity of 12.50% and a net margin of 13.77%. The business had revenue of $4.45 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.54 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.71 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.7% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts forecast that Southern Co. will post $2.86 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, September 6th. Stockholders of record on Monday, August 15th were issued a $0.56 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, August 11th. This represents a $2.24 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.20%. Southern’s payout ratio is currently 87.50%.
Several research firms have recently weighed in on SO. 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 report on Tuesday. Jefferies Group restated a “hold” rating on shares of Southern in a research note on Monday, July 11th. Argus restated a “buy” rating on shares of Southern in a research note on Wednesday, June 15th. Mizuho restated a “hold” rating and set a $50.00 price target on shares of Southern in a research note on Monday, July 11th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. restated a “neutral” rating and set a $54.00 price target on shares of Southern in a research note on Thursday, July 14th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. Southern currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $53.50.
In other news, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 46,008 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.40, for a total value of $2,456,827.20. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 56,149 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,998,356.60. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Ann P. Daiss sold 7,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.28, for a total value of $372,960.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 9,394 shares in the company, valued at approximately $500,512.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.00% of the stock is owned by 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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