Autus Asset Management LLC Reduces Holdings in Southern Co (SO)

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Autus Asset Management LLC reduced its position in Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 3.8% in the 1st quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 6,699 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 267 shares during the quarter. Autus Asset Management LLC’s holdings in Southern were worth $346,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Sontag Advisory LLC acquired a new position in Southern in the 4th quarter valued at about $25,000. Vigilant Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in Southern in the 4th quarter valued at about $30,000. Trust Department MB Financial Bank N A grew its position in Southern by 49.0% in the 1st quarter. Trust Department MB Financial Bank N A now owns 766 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $40,000 after acquiring an additional 252 shares in the last quarter. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust grew its position in Southern by 38.1% in the 4th quarter. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust now owns 798 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $35,000 after acquiring an additional 220 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Liberty Wealth Management LLC acquired a new position in Southern in the 4th quarter valued at about $35,000. 56.89% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Several research firms have weighed in on SO. ValuEngine downgraded Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, April 1st. SunTrust Banks reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $52.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a research note on Monday, February 25th. reiterated a “sell” rating on shares of Southern in a research note on Wednesday, February 13th. reiterated a “sell” rating on shares of Southern in a research note on Wednesday, February 13th. Finally, Citigroup upgraded Southern from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and lifted their price objective for the company from $45.00 to $50.00 in a research note on Thursday, January 24th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $47.15.

In related news, CEO William P. Bowers sold 90,942 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, February 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $48.60, for a total transaction of $4,419,781.20. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 177,043 shares in the company, valued at $8,604,289.80. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 7,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, April 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.68, for a total value of $361,760.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 77,772 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,019,256.96. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 383,341 shares of company stock valued at $19,342,988. 0.73% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Shares of SO opened at $52.39 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.40, a current ratio of 0.67 and a quick ratio of 0.54. The stock has a market capitalization of $54.98 billion, a PE ratio of 17.07, a P/E/G ratio of 3.85 and a beta of 0.20. Southern Co has a 1 year low of $42.42 and a 1 year high of $52.98.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 20th. The utilities provider reported $0.25 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.23 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $5.34 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.88 billion. Southern had a return on equity of 11.39% and a net margin of 9.54%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 5.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.51 EPS. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Southern Co will post 3.03 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 6th. Investors of record on Monday, May 20th will be paid a dividend of $0.62 per share. This is a boost from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.60. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, May 17th. This represents a $2.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.73%. Southern’s payout ratio is presently 78.18%.

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About 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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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