Bard Financial Services Inc. purchased a new position in The Southern Company (NYSE:SO) in the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The fund purchased 24,460 shares of the utilities provider’s stock, valued at approximately $1,503,000.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Legacy Wealth Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of The Southern in the 4th quarter worth about $734,000. Rollins Financial purchased a new position in The Southern in the 4th quarter worth about $361,000. Alpha DNA Investment Management LLC purchased a new position in The Southern in the 4th quarter worth about $26,000. Valley Brook Capital Group purchased a new position in The Southern in the 4th quarter worth about $377,000. Finally, DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale raised its position in The Southern by 10.3% in the 4th quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale now owns 209,195 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $12,585,000 after buying an additional 19,480 shares during the last quarter. 57.62% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

In other The Southern news, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 2,500 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, February 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $61.00, for a total value of $152,500.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 66,127 shares in the company, valued at $4,033,747. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, insider Ann P. Daiss sold 5,549 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, April 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.75, for a total value of $348,199.75. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 18,666 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,171,291.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 13,049 shares of company stock worth $802,200. 0.39% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

SO has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. Credit Suisse Group upgraded The Southern from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and boosted their price objective for the company from $61.00 to $68.00 in a research note on Monday, March 1st. Evercore ISI cut The Southern from an “in-line” rating to an “underperform” rating and set a $61.00 price target on the stock. in a report on Thursday, January 21st. KeyCorp lowered their price target on The Southern from $66.00 to $65.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, January 12th. Scotiabank raised The Southern from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and boosted their price target for the stock from $66.00 to $75.00 in a report on Tuesday, December 15th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised The Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $63.00 price target on the stock in a report on Thursday, January 14th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the company. The Southern has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $64.60.

NYSE:SO opened at $62.80 on Thursday. The Southern Company has a fifty-two week low of $50.40 and a fifty-two week high of $64.93. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.40, a quick ratio of 0.73 and a current ratio of 0.90. The stock’s fifty day moving average is $59.90 and its 200 day moving average is $59.70. The firm has a market capitalization of $66.36 billion, a PE ratio of 20.93, a PEG ratio of 3.56 and a beta of 0.39.

The Southern (NYSE:SO) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 17th. The utilities provider reported $0.47 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.42 by $0.05. The Southern had a return on equity of 10.08% and a net margin of 15.80%. The business had revenue of $5.12 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.07 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.27 EPS. Equities analysts forecast that The Southern Company will post 3.19 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, March 8th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, February 16th were given a dividend of $0.64 per share. This represents a $2.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.08%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, February 12th. The Southern’s payout ratio is 82.32%.

The Southern Company Profile

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 and battery energy storage 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 investments operations.

Further Reading: What are Institutional Investors?

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for The Southern (NYSE:SO)

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