United Capital Financial Advisers LLC Grows Stake in Southern Co (NYSE:SO)

United Capital Financial Advisers LLC grew its position in Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 4.9% during the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 379,750 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 17,807 shares during the quarter. United Capital Financial Advisers LLC’s holdings in Southern were worth $20,993,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Pettyjohn Wood & White Inc. lifted its position in Southern by 0.3% during the second quarter. Pettyjohn Wood & White Inc. now owns 60,890 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,366,000 after purchasing an additional 175 shares during the period. Confluence Wealth Management LLC raised its position in shares of Southern by 2.2% in the second quarter. Confluence Wealth Management LLC now owns 8,047 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $445,000 after acquiring an additional 175 shares during the period. 6 Meridian raised its position in shares of Southern by 1.8% in the second quarter. 6 Meridian now owns 10,278 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $568,000 after acquiring an additional 181 shares during the period. Tokio Marine Asset Management Co. Ltd. raised its position in shares of Southern by 0.8% in the second quarter. Tokio Marine Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 23,452 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,296,000 after acquiring an additional 186 shares during the period. Finally, Western Wealth Management LLC raised its position in shares of Southern by 3.4% in the first quarter. Western Wealth Management LLC now owns 5,833 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $307,000 after acquiring an additional 193 shares during the period. 58.39% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

A number of research analysts have weighed in on SO shares. Mizuho upped their price objective on shares of Southern from $48.50 to $55.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, June 13th. UBS Group upped their price objective on shares of Southern from $58.00 to $62.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, September 6th. Morgan Stanley reduced their price target on shares of Southern from $55.00 to $54.00 and set an “underweight” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, August 16th. Bank of America upped their price target on shares of Southern from $60.00 to $64.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday. Finally, Barclays restated a “hold” rating and set a $57.00 price target on shares of Southern in a research report on Wednesday, June 19th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $55.70.

In other Southern news, insider Ann P. Daiss sold 7,969 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, June 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.06, for a total transaction of $446,742.14. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 17,981 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,008,014.86. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, CEO William P. Bowers sold 164,377 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, June 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $56.01, for a total transaction of $9,206,755.77. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 181,005 shares in the company, valued at $10,138,090.05. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 257,121 shares of company stock valued at $14,572,063 in the last ninety days. 0.88% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Shares of Southern stock traded down $0.09 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $59.90. The stock had a trading volume of 350,839 shares, compared to its average volume of 5,475,518. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $57.74 and a two-hundred day moving average of $54.41. Southern Co has a 12-month low of $42.50 and a 12-month high of $60.65. The company has a quick ratio of 0.59, a current ratio of 0.76 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.33. The firm has a market cap of $61.58 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.45, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.32 and a beta of 0.17.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 31st. The utilities provider reported $0.80 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.72 by $0.08. The firm had revenue of $5.10 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.12 billion. Southern had a net margin of 20.18% and a return on equity of 10.04%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 9.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.80 EPS. Sell-side analysts expect that Southern Co will post 3.04 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 6th. Investors of record on Monday, August 19th were given a dividend of $0.62 per share. The ex-dividend date was Friday, August 16th. This represents a $2.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.14%. Southern’s payout ratio is currently 80.78%.

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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