Nicholas Hoffman & Company LLC. grew its stake in shares of Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 10.6% in the 1st quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 30,841 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after acquiring an additional 2,949 shares during the period. Nicholas Hoffman & Company LLC.’s holdings in Southern were worth $1,670,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in the business. Sowa Financial Group Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Southern in the 4th quarter valued at about $25,000. RMR Wealth Builders acquired a new position in shares of Southern in the 4th quarter valued at about $25,000. Barnett & Company Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Southern in the 1st quarter valued at about $27,000. Valley National Advisers Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Southern by 49.0% in the 4th quarter. Valley National Advisers Inc. now owns 447 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $28,000 after buying an additional 147 shares during the period. Finally, Engrave Wealth Partners LLC acquired a new position in shares of Southern in the 4th quarter valued at about $31,000. 58.84% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
Shares of SO stock traded up $0.33 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $54.16. 188,336 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 5,333,108. Southern Co has a 12 month low of $41.96 and a 12 month high of $71.10. The company has a market cap of $56.92 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.03, a PEG ratio of 4.34 and a beta of 0.44. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $55.58 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $61.21. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.44, a quick ratio of 0.78 and a current ratio of 0.99.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 8th. Shareholders of record on Monday, May 18th will be given a dividend of $0.64 per share. This represents a $2.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.73%. This is an increase from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.62. The ex-dividend date is Friday, May 15th. Southern’s payout ratio is 82.32%.
In other Southern news, Director Ernest J. Moniz bought 3,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 4th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $54.72 per share, for a total transaction of $191,520.00. Following the acquisition, the director now directly owns 3,500 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $191,520. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, April 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.59, for a total transaction of $103,180.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 84,396 shares in the company, valued at $4,353,989.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 13,843 shares of company stock worth $881,346 over the last 90 days. 0.39% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Several research analysts have recently commented on the stock. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $67.00 price target on shares of Southern in a report on Thursday, April 30th. Seaport Global Securities assumed coverage on shares of Southern in a report on Wednesday. They issued a “buy” rating and a $60.00 price target for the company. Argus raised 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. Wolfe Research raised shares of Southern from an “underperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research note on Thursday, March 12th. Finally, Citigroup boosted their target price on shares of Southern from $61.00 to $73.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, January 27th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $61.90.
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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