Empirical Finance LLC lifted its holdings in The Southern Company (NYSE:SO) by 17.2% during the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 12,435 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 1,822 shares during the period. Empirical Finance LLC’s holdings in The Southern were worth $752,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of SO. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its stake in The Southern by 1.6% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,946,580 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $119,567,000 after acquiring an additional 30,157 shares during the last quarter. Great Lakes Advisors LLC grew its position in The Southern by 13.1% in the 1st quarter. Great Lakes Advisors LLC now owns 4,129 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $257,000 after purchasing an additional 479 shares during the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. increased its stake in The Southern by 16.9% during the first quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 817,344 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $50,806,000 after acquiring an additional 118,228 shares during the period. Migdal Insurance & Financial Holdings Ltd. bought a new stake in shares of The Southern during the first quarter valued at approximately $76,000. Finally, Total Clarity Wealth Management Inc. acquired a new position in shares of The Southern in the 1st quarter valued at $45,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 59.30% of the company’s stock.
Several analysts have recently weighed in on SO shares. Morgan Stanley raised their price objective on shares of The Southern from $60.00 to $64.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a report on Thursday, August 19th. Argus lifted their target price on shares of The Southern from $68.00 to $73.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 19th. Wells Fargo & Company reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of The Southern in a research report on Monday, August 2nd. Barclays lifted their target price on The Southern from $70.00 to $76.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 25th. Finally, Guggenheim raised 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. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $68.69.
The Southern stock opened at $65.97 on Wednesday. The company has a current ratio of 0.82, a quick ratio of 0.65 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.46. The company has a market cap of $69.85 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.21, a PEG ratio of 4.01 and a beta of 0.45. The Southern Company has a 12 month low of $52.01 and a 12 month high of $67.54. The business’s 50 day simple moving average is $64.79 and its 200 day simple moving average is $63.53.
The Southern (NYSE:SO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 29th. The utilities provider reported $0.84 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.79 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $5.20 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5 billion. The Southern had a net margin of 14.47% and a return on equity of 11.43%. As a group, equities research analysts forecast that The Southern Company will post 3.35 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, September 7th. Stockholders of record on Monday, August 16th were issued a $0.66 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Friday, August 13th. This represents a $2.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.00%. The Southern’s payout ratio is 81.23%.
The Southern Company 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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