Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. Trims Stake in Southern Co (NYSE:SO)

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Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. lowered its stake in Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 79.7% during the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 104,937 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 411,234 shares during the quarter. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc.’s holdings in Southern were worth $5,801,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

A number of other hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of the stock. 6 Meridian raised its holdings in Southern by 1.8% in the 2nd quarter. 6 Meridian now owns 10,278 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $568,000 after acquiring an additional 181 shares during the last quarter. Tokio Marine Asset Management Co. Ltd. increased its holdings in shares of Southern by 0.8% during the 2nd quarter. Tokio Marine Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 23,452 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,296,000 after buying an additional 186 shares during the last quarter. Western Wealth Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of Southern by 3.4% during the 1st quarter. Western Wealth Management LLC now owns 5,833 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $307,000 after buying an additional 193 shares during the last quarter. St. Johns Investment Management Company LLC increased its holdings in shares of Southern by 1.9% during the 2nd quarter. St. Johns Investment Management Company LLC now owns 10,573 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $584,000 after buying an additional 195 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Arvest Bank Trust Division increased its holdings in shares of Southern by 1.4% during the 2nd quarter. Arvest Bank Trust Division now owns 14,051 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $777,000 after buying an additional 198 shares during the last quarter. 56.66% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of NYSE SO opened at $57.11 on Wednesday. Southern Co has a 12-month low of $42.50 and a 12-month high of $58.78. The firm has a market cap of $60.68 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.60, a P/E/G ratio of 4.28 and a beta of 0.18. The company has a current ratio of 0.76, a quick ratio of 0.59 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.33. The firm has a fifty day moving average of $56.22.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 31st. The utilities provider reported $0.80 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.72 by $0.08. Southern had a return on equity of 10.04% and a net margin of 20.18%. The firm had revenue of $5.10 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.12 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.80 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 9.4% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities analysts predict that Southern Co will post 3.03 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, August 19th will be given a $0.62 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, August 16th. This represents a $2.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.34%. Southern’s payout ratio is currently 80.78%.

A number of analysts have recently commented on the company. KeyCorp assumed coverage on Southern in a report on Tuesday, June 4th. They set a “sector weight” rating for the company. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 21st. Credit Suisse Group set a $51.00 price objective on Southern and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, April 22nd. Bank of America dropped their price objective on Southern from $61.00 to $60.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a report on Thursday, August 1st. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 6th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $52.10.

In other Southern news, insider Ann P. Daiss sold 11,625 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $55.18, for a total value of $641,467.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 17,862 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $985,625.16. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Ann P. Daiss sold 3,786 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.42, for a total transaction of $206,034.12. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 13,798 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $750,887.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 769,547 shares of company stock valued at $42,411,331. 0.88% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

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 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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