M&T Bank Corp lessened its position in shares of Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 1.4% during the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 173,720 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 2,409 shares during the quarter. M&T Bank Corp’s holdings in Southern were worth $7,630,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Several other hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in SO. FMR LLC raised its stake in Southern by 7.2% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 6,720,611 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $311,231,000 after purchasing an additional 451,664 shares in the last quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group raised its stake in Southern by 364.1% in the second quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 411,131 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $19,051,000 after purchasing an additional 322,552 shares in the last quarter. DNB Asset Management AS raised its stake in Southern by 19.8% in the third quarter. DNB Asset Management AS now owns 185,252 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $8,077,000 after purchasing an additional 30,646 shares in the last quarter. Iberiabank Corp raised its stake in Southern by 40.5% in the third quarter. Iberiabank Corp now owns 13,348 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $582,000 after purchasing an additional 3,850 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bank of Montreal Can raised its stake in Southern by 2.5% in the third quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 2,282,136 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $99,501,000 after purchasing an additional 55,116 shares in the last quarter. 56.45% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
A number of research analysts recently commented on the company. Citigroup raised Southern from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and boosted their price target for the company from $45.00 to $50.00 in a research note on Thursday, January 24th. Zacks Investment Research raised Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $52.00 price target for the company in a research note on Tuesday, January 15th. SunTrust Banks reissued a “hold” rating and set a $47.00 target price on shares of Southern in a research note on Monday, January 7th. Guggenheim reissued a “hold” rating and set a $44.00 target price on shares of Southern in a research note on Monday, January 7th. Finally, Mizuho reissued a “hold” rating and set a $46.00 target price on shares of Southern in a research note on Tuesday, December 11th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $46.64.
Shares of NYSE SO opened at $49.12 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.48, a current ratio of 0.72 and a quick ratio of 0.58. The stock has a market cap of $50.58 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.76, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.63 and a beta of 0.19. Southern Co has a 12 month low of $42.38 and a 12 month high of $49.43.
Southern (NYSE:SO) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, November 7th. The utilities provider reported $1.14 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.07 by $0.07. The firm had revenue of $6.70 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $6.68 billion. Southern had a return on equity of 12.88% and a net margin of 10.35%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 8.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.12 earnings per share. On average, sell-side analysts predict that Southern Co will post 3.04 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, March 6th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, February 19th will be paid a dividend of $0.60 per share. This represents a $2.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.89%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, February 15th. Southern’s payout ratio is 79.47%.
In other news, CEO Kimberly S. Greene sold 15,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated 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 in the company, valued at $441,141.40. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Mark Lantrip sold 9,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, December 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.58, for a total value of $428,220.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 114,942 shares of company stock valued at $5,553,451. Insiders own 0.73% of the company’s stock.
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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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