Cresset Asset Management LLC decreased its holdings in shares of The Southern Company (NYSE:SO) by 7.0% in the 2nd quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The fund owned 8,767 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 655 shares during the quarter. Cresset Asset Management LLC’s holdings in The Southern were worth $531,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Several other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of SO. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD raised its position in shares of The Southern by 12.8% during the 1st quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 43,940,360 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,731,333,000 after acquiring an additional 4,972,698 shares during the last quarter. Cohen & Steers Inc. increased its position in shares of The Southern by 843,210.3% in the 1st quarter. Cohen & Steers Inc. now owns 2,858,822 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $177,704,000 after buying an additional 2,858,483 shares in the last quarter. Zimmer Partners LP bought a new stake in shares of The Southern in the 1st quarter valued at $83,148,000. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its position in shares of The Southern by 59.7% in the 1st quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 2,755,955 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $171,311,000 after buying an additional 1,030,205 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Nordea Investment Management AB increased its position in shares of The Southern by 1,812.5% in the 1st quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 1,061,006 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $65,549,000 after buying an additional 1,005,529 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 59.30% of the company’s stock.
A number of analysts recently commented on the stock. Barclays upped their price objective on shares of The Southern from $70.00 to $76.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 25th. Guggenheim upgraded shares of The Southern from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $72.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, September 7th. Wells Fargo & Company restated a “buy” rating on shares of The Southern in a research report on Monday, August 2nd. Morgan Stanley reduced their target price on shares of The Southern from $64.00 to $63.00 and set an “underweight” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, September 17th. Finally, Mizuho upped their target price on shares of The Southern from $57.00 to $60.00 and gave the stock an “underperform” rating in a research note on Monday, August 30th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the stock. According to data from MarketBeat, The Southern has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $68.62.
The Southern (NYSE:SO) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 29th. The utilities provider reported $0.84 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.79 by $0.05. The Southern had a net margin of 14.47% and a return on equity of 11.43%. The company had revenue of $5.20 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5 billion. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that The Southern Company will post 3.35 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, September 7th. Stockholders of record on Monday, August 16th were paid a dividend of $0.66 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, August 13th. This represents a $2.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.14%. The Southern’s dividend payout ratio is 81.23%.
In other news, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 2,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $67.04, for a total value of $167,600.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 89,151 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,976,683.04. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Ann P. Daiss sold 1,750 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $64.34, for a total transaction of $112,595.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 87,247 shares of company stock valued at $5,813,034. Company insiders own 0.43% of the company’s stock.
The Southern Profile
The Southern Co is a holding company. The firm engages in the sale of electricity. It operates through the following segments: Traditional Electric Operating Companies, Southern Power and Southern Company Gas. The Traditional Electric Operating Companies segment refers to vertically integrated utilities that own generation, transmission and distribution facilities, and supplies electric services in the states of Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Mississippi.
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