Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. trimmed its stake in Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 28.3% in the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 28,990 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 11,439 shares during the quarter. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc.’s holdings in Southern were worth $1,264,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in SO. Kaizen Advisory LLC increased its stake in Southern by 133.8% in the second quarter. Kaizen Advisory LLC now owns 2,284 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $106,000 after purchasing an additional 1,307 shares during the last quarter. Destination Wealth Management increased its stake in Southern by 359.3% in the second quarter. Destination Wealth Management now owns 2,315 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $107,000 after purchasing an additional 1,811 shares during the last quarter. Point72 Hong Kong Ltd acquired a new position in Southern in the second quarter valued at $119,000. Horan Capital Advisors LLC. acquired a new position in Southern in the second quarter valued at $121,000. Finally, Sound Income Strategies LLC increased its stake in Southern by 83.5% in the third quarter. Sound Income Strategies LLC now owns 2,855 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $124,000 after purchasing an additional 1,299 shares during the last quarter. 57.34% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
In other Southern news, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 16,371 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.40, for a total transaction of $775,985.40. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 10,165 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $481,821. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. 0.73% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Southern (NYSE:SO) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 8th. The utilities provider reported $0.80 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.69 by $0.11. Southern had a return on equity of 13.06% and a net margin of 9.96%. The firm had revenue of $5.63 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.28 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.73 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 3.6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, research analysts anticipate that Southern Co will post 3 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, November 19th will be given a dividend of $0.60 per share. This represents a $2.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.24%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, November 16th. Southern’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 79.47%.
Several equities analysts recently commented on the company. Bank of America upgraded Southern from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $46.00 target price for the company in a research note on Wednesday, October 10th. Credit Suisse Group lowered Southern from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating and dropped their target price for the company from $46.00 to $43.00 in a research note on Thursday, August 9th. Scotiabank reiterated a “sector perform” rating on shares of Southern in a research note on Tuesday, July 24th. Evercore ISI lowered Southern from an “in-line” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 9th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered Southern from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 9th. Six analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $46.11.
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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