Fifth Third Bancorp lifted its stake in The Southern Company (NYSE:SO – Get Rating) by 1.5% during the 1st quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 99,304 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 1,467 shares during the period. Fifth Third Bancorp’s holdings in Southern were worth $7,201,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Other large investors also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Arlington Partners LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Southern in the 4th quarter valued at about $27,000. Amplius Wealth Advisors LLC bought a new position in Southern during the fourth quarter worth about $28,000. Cassady Schiller Wealth Management LLC bought a new position in Southern during the fourth quarter worth about $28,000. Disciplined Investments LLC bought a new position in Southern during the fourth quarter worth about $29,000. Finally, CarsonAllaria Wealth Management Ltd. bought a new position in Southern during the fourth quarter worth about $32,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 60.58% of the company’s stock.
Shares of NYSE:SO opened at $73.14 on Friday. The company has a fifty-day moving average of $72.68 and a 200-day moving average of $70.25. The company has a market capitalization of $77.71 billion, a PE ratio of 33.86, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.90 and a beta of 0.48. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.55, a quick ratio of 0.70 and a current ratio of 0.89. The Southern Company has a 52-week low of $60.76 and a 52-week high of $77.24.
Southern (NYSE:SO – Get Rating) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 28th. The utilities provider reported $0.97 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.06. The company had revenue of $6.60 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.93 billion. Southern had a net margin of 10.09% and a return on equity of 11.35%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 11.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.98 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts forecast that The Southern Company will post 3.56 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, June 6th. Investors of record on Monday, May 16th were issued a $0.68 dividend. This represents a $2.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.72%. This is an increase from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.66. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, May 13th. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is currently 125.93%.
In related news, EVP Bryan D. Anderson sold 26,917 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, April 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $75.96, for a total value of $2,044,615.32. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 30,660 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,328,933.60. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CEO Kimberly S. Greene sold 40,419 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, April 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $75.30, for a total transaction of $3,043,550.70. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 123,120 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,270,936. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 110,836 shares of company stock valued at $8,316,301 over the last 90 days. 0.37% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
A number of brokerages have recently issued reports on SO. Mizuho boosted their price objective on Southern from $67.00 to $76.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, April 21st. BMO Capital Markets cut their price target on Southern from $81.00 to $70.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, June 22nd. Wells Fargo & Company boosted their price target on Southern from $68.00 to $80.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 19th. StockNews.com initiated coverage on Southern in a research note on Thursday, March 31st. They issued a “hold” rating for the company. Finally, Morgan Stanley cut their price target on Southern from $67.00 to $66.00 and set an “underweight” rating for the company in a research note on Monday, May 23rd. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Based on data from MarketBeat, the company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $73.22.
About Southern: (Get Rating)
The Southern Company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. It operates through Gas Distribution Operations, Gas Pipeline Investments, Wholesale Gas Services, and Gas Marketing Services segments. The company also develops, constructs, acquires, owns, and manages power generation assets, including renewable energy projects 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 investment operations.
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