Teachers Retirement System of The State of Kentucky lowered its position in shares of The Southern Company (NYSE:SO) by 6.9% in the 4th quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 88,050 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 6,500 shares during the quarter. Teachers Retirement System of The State of Kentucky’s holdings in The Southern were worth $5,409,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in SO. Wealth Alliance lifted its position in The Southern by 8.4% during the third quarter. Wealth Alliance now owns 11,677 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $633,000 after buying an additional 907 shares during the period. Earnest Partners LLC lifted its position in The Southern by 6.7% during the third quarter. Earnest Partners LLC now owns 75,620 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $4,100,000 after buying an additional 4,758 shares during the period. Point72 Hong Kong Ltd purchased a new position in The Southern during the third quarter valued at $346,000. Te Ahumairangi Investment Management Ltd bought a new position in shares of The Southern during the third quarter valued at $9,188,000. Finally, Fortis Group Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of The Southern during the third quarter valued at $868,000. 57.62% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Several brokerages have recently weighed in on SO. Evercore ISI downgraded The Southern from an “in-line” rating to an “underperform” rating and set a $61.00 price target for the company. in a report on Thursday, January 21st. KeyCorp reduced their price target on The Southern from $66.00 to $65.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, January 12th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded The Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $63.00 price target for the company in a report on Thursday, January 14th. Bank of America upgraded The Southern from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $64.00 price objective for the company in a report on Tuesday, January 19th. Finally, Morgan Stanley lifted their price objective on The Southern from $55.00 to $57.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a report on Thursday, March 25th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The Southern presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $64.60.
The Southern (NYSE:SO) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, February 17th. The utilities provider reported $0.47 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.42 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $5.12 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.07 billion. The Southern had a return on equity of 10.08% and a net margin of 15.80%. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.27 EPS. As a group, equities analysts predict that The Southern Company will post 3.19 EPS for the current year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, March 8th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, February 16th were given a dividend of $0.64 per share. This represents a $2.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.08%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, February 12th. The Southern’s dividend payout ratio is currently 82.32%.
In other The Southern news, insider Ann P. Daiss sold 5,549 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, April 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.75, for a total value of $348,199.75. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 18,666 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,171,291.50. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 2,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.00, for a total value of $152,500.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 66,127 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,033,747. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 13,049 shares of company stock worth $802,200. Corporate insiders own 0.39% of the company’s stock.
The Southern Profile
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 and battery energy storage projects 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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