Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd. boosted its position in Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 1,590.5% during the third quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The fund owned 7,100 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after buying an additional 6,680 shares during the quarter. Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd.’s holdings in Southern were worth $439,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other large investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Krane Funds Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Southern in the second quarter valued at approximately $25,000. Lenox Wealth Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Southern in the third quarter valued at approximately $25,000. KCS Wealth Advisory acquired a new stake in Southern in the third quarter valued at approximately $25,000. Atlantic Trust LLC acquired a new stake in Southern in the second quarter valued at approximately $28,000. Finally, Salomon & Ludwin LLC acquired a new stake in Southern in the second quarter valued at approximately $29,000. 58.21% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
A number of analysts have weighed in on the stock. Morgan Stanley cut their target price on shares of Southern from $55.00 to $54.00 and set an “underweight” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, August 16th. UBS Group raised their target price on shares of Southern from $58.00 to $62.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, September 6th. Citigroup raised their target price on shares of Southern from $55.00 to $61.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 29th. ValuEngine lowered shares of Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 6th. Finally, SunTrust Banks set a $59.00 target price on shares of Southern and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 3rd. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $56.80.
Southern (NYSE:SO) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 30th. The utilities provider reported $1.34 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.14 by $0.20. The company had revenue of $6 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $6.01 billion. Southern had a net margin of 21.02% and a return on equity of 10.52%. Southern’s revenue was down 2.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.14 earnings per share. Analysts predict that Southern Co will post 3.09 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 6th. Stockholders of record on Monday, November 18th will be issued a dividend of $0.62 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 15th. This represents a $2.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.00%. Southern’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 80.78%.
In related news, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $58.28, for a total value of $116,560.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 69,772 shares in the company, valued at $4,066,312.16. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 123,533 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, October 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.87, for a total transaction of $7,642,986.71. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 191,305 shares in the company, valued at approximately $11,836,040.35. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 177,533 shares of company stock worth $10,941,987. 0.88% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
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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