Coastal Investment Advisors Inc. cut its position in shares of The Southern Company (NYSE:SO) by 7.9% in the fourth quarter, Holdings Channel.com reports. The firm owned 9,570 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 818 shares during the quarter. Coastal Investment Advisors Inc.’s holdings in The Southern were worth $588,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA boosted its position in The Southern by 2.9% in the 3rd quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 28,832,935 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,563,321,000 after buying an additional 822,854 shares during the period. FMR LLC boosted its position in The Southern by 11.0% in the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 14,378,464 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $745,524,000 after buying an additional 1,420,920 shares during the period. California Public Employees Retirement System boosted its position in The Southern by 1.5% in the 3rd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 8,756,638 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $474,785,000 after buying an additional 133,195 shares during the period. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. boosted its position in The Southern by 3.7% in the 3rd quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 4,302,566 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $233,285,000 after buying an additional 152,656 shares during the period. Finally, Morgan Stanley raised its holdings in shares of The Southern by 4.6% in the 3rd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 3,373,059 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $182,887,000 after purchasing an additional 148,470 shares in the last quarter. 57.29% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
Several research firms have recently commented on SO. Morgan Stanley reduced their price target on shares of The Southern from $62.00 to $57.00 and set an “underweight” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, December 15th. Scotiabank upgraded shares of The Southern from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and boosted their price target for the company from $66.00 to $75.00 in a report on Tuesday, December 15th. BidaskClub lowered shares of The Southern from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, December 25th. BMO Capital Markets began coverage on shares of The Southern in a report on Tuesday, November 24th. They issued a “market perform” rating and a $67.00 price target for the company. Finally, Mizuho boosted their price target on shares of The Southern from $48.00 to $53.00 in a report on Wednesday, October 28th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The Southern presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $64.60.
The Southern (NYSE:SO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 29th. The utilities provider reported $1.22 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.24 by ($0.02). The Southern had a return on equity of 10.47% and a net margin of 15.83%. The firm had revenue of $5.62 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $6.29 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.34 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 6.3% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, sell-side analysts forecast that The Southern Company will post 3.16 earnings per share for the current year.
In other news, CEO Kimberly S. Greene sold 30,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, December 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.96, for a total value of $1,858,800.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 50,291 shares in the company, valued at $3,116,030.36. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 2,500 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, December 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $60.93, for a total transaction of $152,325.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 64,496 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,929,741.28. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 35,000 shares of company stock worth $2,164,100. Insiders own 0.39% of the company’s stock.
About The Southern
The Southern Company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. It operates in four segments: Gas Distribution Operations, Gas Pipeline Investments, Wholesale Gas Services, and Gas Marketing Services. 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, and Tennessee, as well as provides gas marketing services, wholesale gas services, and gas pipeline investments operations.
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