HM Payson & Co. Lowers Holdings in Southern Company (The) (SO)

HM Payson & Co. lessened its position in shares of Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) by 8.6% in the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 40,646 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 3,831 shares during the period. HM Payson & Co.’s holdings in Southern were worth $1,997,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other hedge funds have also recently bought and sold shares of SO. AlphaMark Advisors LLC lifted its stake in shares of Southern by 0.6% in the second quarter. AlphaMark Advisors LLC now owns 2,363 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $113,000 after acquiring an additional 14 shares in the last quarter. South Texas Money Management Ltd. lifted its stake in shares of Southern by 0.3% in the second quarter. South Texas Money Management Ltd. now owns 7,084 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $339,000 after acquiring an additional 19 shares in the last quarter. WMS Partners LLC lifted its stake in shares of Southern by 0.6% in the second quarter. WMS Partners LLC now owns 4,387 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $210,000 after acquiring an additional 25 shares in the last quarter. Regal Investment Advisors LLC lifted its stake in shares of Southern by 0.4% in the first quarter. Regal Investment Advisors LLC now owns 7,990 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $398,000 after acquiring an additional 29 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Sfmg LLC increased its holdings in Southern by 0.5% in the second quarter. Sfmg LLC now owns 6,435 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $308,000 after buying an additional 29 shares during the last quarter. 53.78% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

In related news, insider Ann P. Daiss sold 5,080 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.28, for a total value of $270,662.40. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 7,474 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $398,214.72. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, CEO William P. Bowers sold 85,151 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $50.00, for a total value of $4,257,550.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 213,813 shares of company stock valued at $11,029,988 over the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 0.74% of the company’s stock.

Several brokerages recently weighed in on SO. J P Morgan Chase & Co began coverage on Southern in a report on Tuesday, August 8th. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $16.78 price objective for the company. BidaskClub lowered Southern from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, August 10th. Royal Bank Of Canada raised Southern from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $53.00 price objective for the company in a report on Friday, September 29th. Morgan Stanley set a $50.00 price objective on Southern and gave the company a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, August 10th. Finally, Citigroup reissued a “sell” rating and issued a $44.00 price objective (up from $43.00) on shares of Southern in a report on Tuesday, October 3rd. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $49.72.

Southern Company (NYSE:SO) traded down $0.78 during trading hours on Tuesday, hitting $50.33. The stock had a trading volume of 5,505,000 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,675,096. The company has a market capitalization of $51,295.43, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.58, a PEG ratio of 4.61 and a beta of 0.13. Southern Company has a 52 week low of $46.23 and a 52 week high of $53.51. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.73, a current ratio of 0.73 and a quick ratio of 0.57.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The utilities provider reported $1.12 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.08 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $6.20 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $6.16 billion. Southern had a return on equity of 10.81% and a net margin of 2.59%. The business’s revenue was down 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.27 earnings per share. sell-side analysts forecast that Southern Company will post 2.95 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, December 6th. Stockholders of record on Monday, November 20th will be issued a dividend of $0.58 per share. This represents a $2.32 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.61%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, November 17th. Southern’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 414.29%.

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About Southern

The Southern Company (Southern Company) is a holding company. The Company owns all of the stock of the traditional electric operating companies and the parent entities of Southern Power Company (Southern Power) and Southern Company Gas, and owns other direct and indirect subsidiaries. The Company’s segments include Gas distribution operations, Gas marketing services, Wholesale gas services, Gas midstream operations and All other.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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