Clearbridge Investments LLC Sells 2,695 Shares of Southern Co (NYSE:SO)
Clearbridge Investments LLC reduced its stake in Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 3.3% in the 1st quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 78,457 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 2,695 shares during the period. Clearbridge Investments LLC’s holdings in Southern were worth $4,248,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Several other hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of SO. Sowa Financial Group Inc. bought a new stake in Southern during the fourth quarter worth $25,000. RMR Wealth Builders bought a new stake in Southern during the fourth quarter worth $25,000. Barnett & Company Inc. bought a new stake in Southern during the first quarter worth $27,000. Valley National Advisers Inc. lifted its stake in Southern by 49.0% during the fourth quarter. Valley National Advisers Inc. now owns 447 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $28,000 after purchasing an additional 147 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Engrave Wealth Partners LLC bought a new stake in Southern during the fourth quarter worth $31,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 58.89% of the company’s stock.
SO has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $59.00 price target for the company. in a report on Tuesday, May 5th. Barclays lowered their price target on shares of Southern from $68.00 to $52.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a report on Thursday, March 26th. Credit Suisse Group upgraded shares of Southern from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and upped their price target for the stock from $60.00 to $61.00 in a report on Monday, May 4th. Morgan Stanley upped their price target on shares of Southern from $52.00 to $53.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, June 17th. Finally, Argus upgraded shares of Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $66.00 price target for the company in a report on Monday, April 13th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $61.97.
Southern (NYSE:SO) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 30th. The utilities provider reported $0.78 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.71 by $0.07. The business had revenue of $5.02 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.45 billion. Southern had a net margin of 16.83% and a return on equity of 10.57%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 7.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.70 earnings per share. As a group, research analysts predict that Southern Co will post 3.15 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, June 8th. Shareholders of record on Monday, May 18th were given a dividend of $0.64 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, May 15th. This represents a $2.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.97%. This is a boost from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.62. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is 82.32%.
In other news, EVP James Y. Kerr II sold 50,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $59.41, for a total transaction of $2,970,500.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 117,206 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,963,208.46. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Ernest J. Moniz acquired 3,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 4th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $54.72 per share, for a total transaction of $191,520.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 3,500 shares in the company, valued at $191,520. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders have sold 56,500 shares of company stock worth $3,330,770 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.39% of the company’s stock.
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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