Berkeley Capital Partners LLC lowered its stake in shares of Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 13.5% in the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 22,648 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 3,520 shares during the quarter. Southern accounts for 0.7% of Berkeley Capital Partners LLC’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 19th largest holding. Berkeley Capital Partners LLC’s holdings in Southern were worth $1,174,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Farr Miller & Washington LLC DC bought a new position in Southern in the 1st quarter valued at $434,000. Private Asset Management Inc. grew its stake in Southern by 4.1% in the 2nd quarter. Private Asset Management Inc. now owns 55,661 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,886,000 after purchasing an additional 2,177 shares during the period. FDx Advisors Inc. grew its stake in Southern by 69.3% in the 2nd quarter. FDx Advisors Inc. now owns 11,299 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $586,000 after purchasing an additional 4,627 shares during the period. M&G Investment Management Ltd. grew its stake in shares of Southern by 421.9% during the 1st quarter. M&G Investment Management Ltd. now owns 20,791 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,123,000 after acquiring an additional 16,807 shares during the period. Finally, CX Institutional grew its stake in shares of Southern by 5,946.0% during the 1st quarter. CX Institutional now owns 24,063 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,303,000 after acquiring an additional 23,665 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 58.82% of the company’s stock.
Shares of NYSE:SO traded down $0.63 on Friday, hitting $54.61. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 5,643,630 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,498,701. The company has a 50-day simple moving average of $53.86 and a 200 day simple moving average of $58.51. Southern Co has a 1 year low of $41.96 and a 1 year high of $71.10. The company has a market capitalization of $57.72 billion, a PE ratio of 17.73, a PEG ratio of 4.39 and a beta of 0.42. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.44, a current ratio of 0.99 and a quick ratio of 0.78.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 8th. Stockholders of record on Monday, August 17th will be given a dividend of $0.64 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, August 14th. This represents a $2.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.69%. Southern’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 82.32%.
Several research analysts have recently weighed in on SO shares. UBS Group downgraded Southern from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating and increased their price target for the stock from $54.00 to $63.00 in a research note on Thursday, May 21st. Morgan Stanley increased their price target on Southern from $53.00 to $55.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research note on Friday, July 17th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $59.00 price target for the company. in a research note on Tuesday, May 5th. Argus upgraded Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $66.00 price target for the company in a research note on Monday, April 13th. Finally, Seaport Global Securities began coverage on Southern in a research note on Wednesday, May 20th. They set a “buy” rating and a $60.00 price target for the company. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Southern currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $62.16.
In other news, Director Ernest J. Moniz acquired 3,500 shares of Southern stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 4th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $54.72 per share, for a total transaction of $191,520.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 3,500 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $191,520. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.47, for a total value of $108,940.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 83,996 shares in the company, valued at $4,575,262.12. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 57,000 shares of company stock worth $3,365,090 over the last quarter. Corporate 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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