Wedmont Private Capital Decreases Stake in The Southern Company (NYSE:SO)

Wedmont Private Capital cut its stake in shares of The Southern Company (NYSE:SOFree Report) by 7.4% during the first quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 10,502 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 839 shares during the quarter. Wedmont Private Capital’s holdings in Southern were worth $741,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Voisard Asset Management Group Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Southern in the fourth quarter valued at about $31,000. Scarborough Advisors LLC acquired a new position in Southern in the 4th quarter worth approximately $31,000. Versant Capital Management Inc raised its position in Southern by 62.0% during the 1st quarter. Versant Capital Management Inc now owns 444 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $32,000 after buying an additional 170 shares during the last quarter. BKM Wealth Management LLC acquired a new stake in Southern during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $34,000. Finally, Valley National Advisers Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Southern by 63.9% in the 4th quarter. Valley National Advisers Inc. now owns 526 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $36,000 after acquiring an additional 205 shares during the last quarter. 64.10% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Wall Street Analyst Weigh In

SO has been the subject of a number of research reports. UBS Group downgraded shares of Southern from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and decreased their target price for the company from $78.00 to $76.00 in a research report on Thursday, April 4th. Wells Fargo & Company boosted their price objective on Southern from $72.00 to $77.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Friday, May 3rd. Argus raised their target price on Southern from $75.00 to $90.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 15th. Barclays boosted their price target on Southern from $65.00 to $66.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Monday, April 15th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $76.00 price objective (up previously from $72.00) on shares of Southern in a research note on Monday, April 1st. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating, seven have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. According to MarketBeat, the stock presently has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average price target of $76.36.

Read Our Latest Stock Report on SO

Southern Price Performance

Shares of NYSE SO traded down $0.37 during trading on Friday, hitting $78.50. The company had a trading volume of 2,833,593 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,658,309. The Southern Company has a fifty-two week low of $61.56 and a fifty-two week high of $80.84. The company has a quick ratio of 0.65, a current ratio of 0.92 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.67. The stock has a fifty day simple moving average of $76.54 and a two-hundred day simple moving average of $71.98. The firm has a market capitalization of $85.83 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.38, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.81 and a beta of 0.51.

Southern (NYSE:SOGet Free Report) last posted its quarterly earnings data 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 company had revenue of $6.65 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $6.59 billion. Southern had a return on equity of 12.07% and a net margin of 16.74%. Southern’s revenue was up 2.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.79 EPS. On average, research analysts expect that The Southern Company will post 3.99 earnings per share for the current year.

Southern Increases Dividend

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, June 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, May 20th were issued a $0.72 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Friday, May 17th. This represents a $2.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.67%. This is a positive change from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.70. Southern’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 74.42%.

Insiders Place Their Bets

In other news, CEO Kimberly S. Greene sold 9,126 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $75.04, for a total value of $684,815.04. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 121,504 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $9,117,660.16. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. 0.18% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Southern Company 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.

See Also

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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