Commerce Bank lifted its stake in Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) by 8.3% in the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 115,974 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 8,852 shares during the period. Commerce Bank’s holdings in Southern were worth $5,699,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Southern during the second quarter worth about $100,000. Farmers & Merchants Trust Co of Chambersburg PA purchased a new stake in shares of Southern during the third quarter worth about $105,000. Monroe Bank & Trust MI grew its holdings in shares of Southern by 17.9% during the second quarter. Monroe Bank & Trust MI now owns 2,300 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $110,000 after buying an additional 350 shares in the last quarter. AlphaMark Advisors LLC grew its holdings in shares of Southern by 0.6% during the second quarter. AlphaMark Advisors LLC now owns 2,363 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $113,000 after buying an additional 14 shares in the last quarter. Finally, IHT Wealth Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Southern by 15.3% during the first quarter. IHT Wealth Management LLC now owns 2,281 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $115,000 after buying an additional 302 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 53.78% of the company’s stock.
In other news, CEO William P. Bowers sold 85,151 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, October 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.00, for a total transaction of $4,257,550.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, VP James Y. Kerr II sold 25,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, October 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.16, for a total transaction of $1,304,000.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 26,000 shares in the company, valued at $1,356,160. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 213,813 shares of company stock worth $11,029,988. 1.00% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
Southern (NYSE:SO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The utilities provider reported $1.12 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.08 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $6.20 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $6.16 billion. Southern had a net margin of 2.59% and a return on equity of 10.81%. Southern’s revenue was down 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.27 earnings per share. research analysts anticipate that Southern Company will post 2.95 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, December 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, November 20th were given a dividend of $0.58 per share. The ex-dividend date was Friday, November 17th. This represents a $2.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.54%. Southern’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 414.29%.
A number of equities research analysts have recently commented on the stock. SunTrust Banks reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $52.00 price target on shares of Southern in a report on Friday, October 20th. Bank of America reiterated an “underperform” rating and set a $51.00 price target on shares of Southern in a report on Tuesday, October 24th. Royal Bank Of Canada upgraded shares of Southern from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $53.00 price target for the company in a report on Friday, September 29th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Southern from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 22nd. Finally, Jefferies Group restated a “buy” rating and issued a $56.00 target price (up from $55.00) on shares of Southern in a report on Tuesday, September 12th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the stock. Southern has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $49.72.
The Southern Company (Southern Company) is a holding company. The Company owns all of the stock of the traditional electric operating companies and the parent entities of Southern Power Company (Southern Power) and Southern Company Gas, and owns other direct and indirect subsidiaries. The Company’s segments include Gas distribution operations, Gas marketing services, Wholesale gas services, Gas midstream operations and All other.
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