Wilbanks Smith & Thomas Asset Management LLC reduced its position in Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 1.8% in the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 43,918 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 808 shares during the period. Wilbanks Smith & Thomas Asset Management LLC’s holdings in Southern were worth $1,929,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other large investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the business. Montecito Bank & Trust lifted its position in shares of Southern by 3.0% during the fourth quarter. Montecito Bank & Trust now owns 7,135 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $314,000 after purchasing an additional 210 shares during the last quarter. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust raised its stake in Southern by 38.1% during the fourth quarter. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust now owns 798 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $35,000 after acquiring an additional 220 shares during the period. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. raised its stake in Southern by 1.6% during the fourth quarter. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. now owns 14,825 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $651,000 after acquiring an additional 238 shares during the period. Arrow Financial Corp raised its stake in Southern by 20.3% during the fourth quarter. Arrow Financial Corp now owns 1,481 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $65,000 after acquiring an additional 250 shares during the period. Finally, Farmers Trust Co. raised its stake in Southern by 2.4% during the fourth quarter. Farmers Trust Co. now owns 12,938 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $568,000 after acquiring an additional 300 shares during the period. 56.76% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
Shares of NYSE:SO traded up $0.15 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $50.37. The stock had a trading volume of 7,245,504 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,781,495. Southern Co has a 1-year low of $42.42 and a 1-year high of $50.54. The firm has a market capitalization of $51.96 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.41, a PEG ratio of 3.70 and a beta of 0.19. The company has a current ratio of 0.67, a quick ratio of 0.58 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.40.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, March 6th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, February 19th will be paid a $0.60 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, February 15th. This represents a $2.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.76%. Southern’s payout ratio is currently 78.18%.
SO has been the topic of several research reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $51.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, November 28th. Guggenheim reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $44.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a research note on Monday, January 7th. Mizuho reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $46.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a research note on Tuesday, December 11th. Barclays increased their price objective on shares of Southern from $48.00 to $49.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, November 19th. Finally, SunTrust Banks reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $48.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a research note on Thursday, November 8th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $46.64.
In other news, CEO Kimberly S. Greene sold 15,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.03, for a total value of $705,450.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 9,380 shares in the company, valued at $441,141.40. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Mark Lantrip sold 9,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, December 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.58, for a total transaction of $428,220.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 147,942 shares of company stock worth $7,186,951 in the last 90 days. 0.73% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
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The Southern Company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. 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, New Jersey, Florida, Tennessee, and Maryland, as well as provides gas marketing services, wholesale gas services, and gas midstream operations.
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