Welch & Forbes LLC Raises Stake in The Southern Company (NYSE:SO)

Welch & Forbes LLC boosted its position in The Southern Company (NYSE:SO) by 9.9% in the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 13,526 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after buying an additional 1,218 shares during the quarter. Welch & Forbes LLC’s holdings in Southern were worth $839,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Other large investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Campbell & CO Investment Adviser LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Southern during the second quarter valued at approximately $1,056,000. Capital Advisors Inc. OK raised its holdings in shares of Southern by 4.7% during the second quarter. Capital Advisors Inc. OK now owns 444,903 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $26,921,000 after acquiring an additional 20,041 shares in the last quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of Southern by 1.3% during the second quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 3,859,801 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $233,556,000 after acquiring an additional 49,097 shares in the last quarter. Biondo Investment Advisors LLC raised its holdings in shares of Southern by 5.0% during the second quarter. Biondo Investment Advisors LLC now owns 102,242 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $6,251,000 after acquiring an additional 4,869 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG raised its holdings in shares of Southern by 31.9% during the second quarter. Deutsche Bank AG now owns 2,274,985 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $137,661,000 after acquiring an additional 549,661 shares in the last quarter. 59.23% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of NYSE:SO opened at $63.10 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.47, a current ratio of 0.86 and a quick ratio of 0.69. The Southern Company has a 1-year low of $56.69 and a 1-year high of $67.54. The company has a market capitalization of $66.87 billion, a PE ratio of 22.30, a PEG ratio of 3.79 and a beta of 0.46. The business has a fifty day moving average price of $62.83 and a 200-day moving average price of $63.69.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 4th. The utilities provider reported $1.23 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.22 by $0.01. Southern had a return on equity of 11.38% and a net margin of 13.40%. The company had revenue of $6.24 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $6.15 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.22 earnings per share. Southern’s revenue was up 11.0% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that The Southern Company will post 3.37 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, November 15th will be given a $0.66 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 12th. This represents a $2.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.18%. Southern’s payout ratio is 93.29%.

In other news, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 2,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, October 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.65, for a total value of $156,625.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Christopher Cummiskey sold 1,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.97, for a total value of $98,955.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 85,847 shares of company stock worth $5,711,926 over the last three months. Insiders own 0.43% of the company’s stock.

A number of equities analysts recently commented on the company. Guggenheim upgraded Southern from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $72.00 target price for the company in a report on Tuesday, September 7th. Mizuho decreased their target price on Southern from $60.00 to $55.00 and set an “underperform” rating for the company in a report on Monday, October 4th. KeyCorp upped their target price on Southern from $68.00 to $69.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 19th. Wells Fargo & Company reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Southern in a report on Monday, August 2nd. Finally, Morgan Stanley decreased their price objective on Southern from $64.00 to $63.00 and set an “underweight” rating for the company in a report on Friday, September 17th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the stock. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, Southern has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $68.42.

Southern Company Profile

The Southern Co is a holding company. The firm engages in the sale of electricity. It operates through the following segments: Traditional Electric Operating Companies, Southern Power and Southern Company Gas. The Traditional Electric Operating Companies segment refers to vertically integrated utilities that own generation, transmission and distribution facilities, and supplies electric services in the states of Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Mississippi.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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