Weiss Asset Management LP Sells 24,277 Shares of The Southern Company (NYSE:SO)

Weiss Asset Management LP cut its holdings in shares of The Southern Company (NYSE:SOFree Report) by 51.8% in the 4th quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 22,551 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 24,277 shares during the period. Weiss Asset Management LP’s holdings in Southern were worth $1,581,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other large investors have also recently modified their holdings of the company. Los Angeles Capital Management LLC boosted its position in Southern by 73.8% in the third quarter. Los Angeles Capital Management LLC now owns 40,259 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,606,000 after buying an additional 17,100 shares in the last quarter. Flputnam Investment Management Co. grew its position in Southern by 69.6% during the 3rd quarter. Flputnam Investment Management Co. now owns 10,666 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $690,000 after acquiring an additional 4,376 shares during the last quarter. Schechter Investment Advisors LLC increased its holdings in Southern by 11.9% in the 3rd quarter. Schechter Investment Advisors LLC now owns 11,674 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $756,000 after purchasing an additional 1,237 shares in the last quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co. Ltd. raised its position in Southern by 10.3% in the third quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 1,034,854 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $66,976,000 after purchasing an additional 97,061 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Great Valley Advisor Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Southern by 3.6% during the third quarter. Great Valley Advisor Group Inc. now owns 26,096 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,689,000 after purchasing an additional 903 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 64.10% of the company’s stock.

Insider Activity

In other news, CEO Kimberly S. Greene sold 9,126 shares of Southern stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $75.04, for a total transaction of $684,815.04. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 121,504 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,117,660.16. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. In other news, CEO Kimberly S. Greene sold 9,126 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $75.04, for a total value of $684,815.04. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 121,504 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,117,660.16. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, March 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $68.92, for a total value of $344,600.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 126,528 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $8,720,309.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.18% of the company’s stock.

Southern Trading Up 0.4 %

NYSE:SO traded up $0.32 during trading hours on Thursday, reaching $77.52. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,796,466 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,725,163. The firm has a 50-day simple moving average of $73.85 and a 200-day simple moving average of $70.99. The Southern Company has a 1 year low of $61.56 and a 1 year high of $80.14. The firm has a market capitalization of $84.86 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.89, a PEG ratio of 3.21 and a beta of 0.48. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.67, a quick ratio of 0.65 and a current ratio of 0.92.

Southern (NYSE:SOGet Free Report) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 2nd. The utilities provider reported $1.03 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.90 by $0.13. The business had revenue of $6.65 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $6.59 billion. Southern had a return on equity of 12.07% and a net margin of 16.74%. Southern’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.79 EPS. Research analysts expect that The Southern Company will post 3.99 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Southern Increases Dividend

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, May 20th will be given a dividend of $0.72 per share. This is a positive change from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.70. The ex-dividend date is Friday, May 17th. This represents a $2.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.72%. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is presently 74.42%.

Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth

Several equities research analysts recently commented on SO shares. Scotiabank cut their target price on shares of Southern from $80.00 to $77.00 and set a “sector outperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, April 22nd. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $80.00 price target on shares of Southern in a research report on Wednesday, February 21st. UBS Group downgraded Southern from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and dropped their price objective for the company from $78.00 to $76.00 in a research note on Thursday, April 4th. Bank of America upped their price objective on shares of Southern from $70.00 to $73.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 23rd. Finally, Argus boosted their target price on shares of Southern from $75.00 to $90.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 15th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating, seven have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Based on data from MarketBeat, the company presently has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average target price of $76.20.

Check Out Our Latest Analysis on Southern

Southern Profile

(Free Report)

The Southern Company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. 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, gas distribution operations, and gas pipeline investments operations.

Further Reading

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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