Coldstream Capital Management Inc. Boosts Holdings in The Southern Company (NYSE:SO)

Coldstream Capital Management Inc. grew its stake in shares of The Southern Company (NYSE:SOFree Report) by 4.0% during the 4th quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The institutional investor owned 68,550 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 2,607 shares during the quarter. Coldstream Capital Management Inc.’s holdings in Southern were worth $4,807,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other hedge funds have also recently modified their holdings of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Southern by 0.4% during the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 99,572,665 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $6,444,343,000 after buying an additional 352,023 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC increased its position in Southern by 5.0% during the third quarter. FMR LLC now owns 38,906,760 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,518,045,000 after acquiring an additional 1,838,857 shares during the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp raised its stake in shares of Southern by 1.6% in the third quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 10,737,843 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $694,953,000 after acquiring an additional 163,986 shares during the period. Morgan Stanley grew its holdings in Southern by 3.7% during the 3rd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 9,811,307 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $634,988,000 after purchasing an additional 349,122 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Norges Bank purchased a new stake in Southern in the 4th quarter worth about $631,068,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 64.10% of the company’s stock.

Southern Price Performance

Shares of SO traded down $0.23 during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $79.31. 947,327 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 4,814,148. The Southern Company has a 1-year low of $61.56 and a 1-year high of $79.85. The company has a 50 day moving average of $72.50 and a 200-day moving average of $70.49. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.67, a quick ratio of 0.65 and a current ratio of 0.92. The stock has a market cap of $86.82 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.55, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.43 and a beta of 0.48.

Southern (NYSE:SOGet Free Report) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 2nd. The utilities provider reported $1.03 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.90 by $0.13. Southern had a return on equity of 12.07% and a net margin of 16.74%. The firm had revenue of $6.65 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $6.59 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.79 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 2.6% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that The Southern Company will post 3.99 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Southern Increases Dividend

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 6th. Investors of record on Monday, May 20th will be issued a $0.72 dividend. This represents a $2.88 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.63%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, May 17th. This is a boost from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.70. Southern’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 74.42%.

Analyst Ratings Changes

Several brokerages have commented on SO. Barclays upped their price objective on Southern from $65.00 to $66.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Monday, April 15th. Royal Bank of Canada reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $80.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a research report on Wednesday, February 21st. Mizuho lifted their price target on shares of Southern from $73.00 to $76.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 2nd. Bank of America boosted their price target on Southern from $70.00 to $73.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 23rd. Finally, Scotiabank reduced their price objective on Southern from $80.00 to $77.00 and set a “sector outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Monday, April 22nd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating, seven have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. According to data from MarketBeat, the stock currently has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus target price of $75.73.

Get Our Latest Stock Analysis on SO

Insiders Place Their Bets

In other news, CEO Kimberly S. Greene sold 9,126 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $75.04, for a total transaction of $684,815.04. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 121,504 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,117,660.16. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. In related news, CEO Kimberly S. Greene sold 9,126 shares of the business’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 sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 121,504 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,117,660.16. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $68.92, for a total transaction of $344,600.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 126,528 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $8,720,309.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 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.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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