Cullinan Associates Inc. Cuts Position in Southern Co (SO)

Cullinan Associates Inc. reduced its stake in shares of Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 29.2% in the 4th quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 34,550 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 14,250 shares during the quarter. Cullinan Associates Inc.’s holdings in Southern were worth $1,517,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the stock. Cognios Capital LLC grew its stake in Southern by 8.1% in the 2nd quarter. Cognios Capital LLC now owns 48,864 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,261,000 after acquiring an additional 3,672 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its stake in Southern by 1.3% in the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,780,758 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $82,468,000 after acquiring an additional 22,103 shares during the period. FMR LLC grew its stake in Southern by 7.2% in the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 6,720,611 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $311,231,000 after acquiring an additional 451,664 shares during the period. OppenheimerFunds Inc. grew its stake in Southern by 13.2% in the 2nd quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 697,003 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $32,278,000 after acquiring an additional 81,489 shares during the period. Finally, First Republic Investment Management Inc. grew its stake in Southern by 65.8% in the 2nd quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. now owns 69,850 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,235,000 after acquiring an additional 27,725 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 56.52% of the company’s stock.

Shares of NYSE SO opened at $46.61 on Friday. Southern Co has a 52-week low of $42.38 and a 52-week high of $49.43. The firm has a market cap of $46.80 billion, a PE ratio of 15.43, a P/E/G ratio of 3.36 and a beta of 0.07. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.48, a current ratio of 0.72 and a quick ratio of 0.58.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 7th. The utilities provider reported $1.14 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.07 by $0.07. Southern had a net margin of 10.35% and a return on equity of 12.88%. The company had revenue of $6.70 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $6.68 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.12 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 8.0% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Southern Co will post 3.03 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, insider Mark Lantrip sold 9,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, December 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.58, for a total transaction of $428,220.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CEO Kimberly S. Greene sold 15,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, December 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.03, for a total transaction of $705,450.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 9,380 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $441,141.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.73% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several research firms have commented on SO. Barclays lifted their target price on shares of Southern from $48.00 to $49.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, November 19th. UBS Group lifted their target price on shares of Southern from $46.00 to $47.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, October 29th. Mizuho reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $46.00 target price on shares of Southern in a research note on Tuesday, December 11th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $53.00 target price for the company in a research note on Tuesday, December 4th. Finally, Morgan Stanley lowered their target price on shares of Southern from $45.00 to $44.00 and set a “sell” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, September 21st. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and eleven have issued a hold rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $46.07.

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Southern Profile

The Southern Company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. 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, New Jersey, Florida, Tennessee, and Maryland, as well as provides gas marketing services, wholesale gas services, and gas midstream operations.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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