IFM Investors Pty Ltd grew its holdings in Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 10.2% in the fourth quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 58,169 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after buying an additional 5,375 shares during the period. IFM Investors Pty Ltd’s holdings in Southern were worth $2,555,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.
Several other large investors have also modified their holdings of SO. Vigilant Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Southern in the 4th quarter worth $30,000. IMS Capital Management purchased a new position in shares of Southern in the 3rd quarter worth $37,000. Lavaca Capital LLC purchased a new position in shares of Southern in the 4th quarter worth $48,000. Quadrant Capital Group LLC grew its stake in shares of Southern by 23.2% in the 4th quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC now owns 1,899 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $73,000 after buying an additional 357 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Arlington Partners LLC purchased a new position in shares of Southern in the 4th quarter worth $88,000. 56.46% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
In other news, CEO Kimberly S. Greene sold 15,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.03, for a total value of $705,450.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 9,380 shares in the company, valued at approximately $441,141.40. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Mark Lantrip sold 9,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, December 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.58, for a total transaction of $428,220.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.73% of the company’s stock.
Southern (NYSE:SO) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 7th. The utilities provider reported $1.14 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates 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 analyst estimates of $6.68 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.12 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.0% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Southern Co will post 3.04 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, March 6th. Investors of record on Tuesday, February 19th will be issued a dividend of $0.60 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, February 15th. This represents a $2.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.05%. Southern’s payout ratio is 79.47%.
A number of equities analysts have commented on the stock. Bank of America raised shares of Southern from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $46.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Wednesday, October 10th. SunTrust Banks reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $48.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a research note on Thursday, November 8th. Mizuho reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $46.00 price target 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 price target for the company in a research note on Tuesday, December 4th. Finally, Barclays lifted their price target 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. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $46.29.
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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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