Confluence Investment Management LLC lessened its position in Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 0.8% in the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 2,235,695 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 19,023 shares during the quarter. Southern makes up about 2.0% of Confluence Investment Management LLC’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 9th largest holding. Confluence Investment Management LLC owned about 0.21% of Southern worth $115,541,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Sontag Advisory LLC purchased a new position in Southern during the fourth quarter valued at $25,000. Vigilant Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in Southern during the fourth quarter valued at $30,000. 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 valued at $35,000 after buying an additional 220 shares during the last quarter. Liberty Wealth Management LLC purchased a new position in Southern during the fourth quarter valued at $35,000. Finally, Lindbrook Capital LLC purchased a new position in Southern during the fourth quarter valued at $36,000. Institutional investors own 56.89% of the company’s stock.
Shares of SO stock traded down $0.47 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $52.25. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 203,775 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,323,992. Southern Co has a 52-week low of $42.42 and a 52-week high of $52.81. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.40, a current ratio of 0.67 and a quick ratio of 0.54. The stock has a market capitalization of $54.98 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.03, a P/E/G ratio of 3.85 and a beta of 0.20.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 6th. Investors of record on Monday, May 20th will be issued a $0.62 dividend. This represents a $2.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.75%. This is a positive change from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.60. Southern’s payout ratio is presently 78.18%.
In other news, Director Henry A. Clark III acquired 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, March 5th. The stock was bought at an average price of $50.19 per share, with a total value of $100,380.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now directly owns 2,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $100,380. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CEO William P. Bowers sold 90,942 shares of Southern stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $48.60, for a total value of $4,419,781.20. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 177,043 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $8,604,289.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 383,341 shares of company stock valued at $19,342,988 in the last ninety days. 0.73% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
SO has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $49.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Saturday, January 5th. ValuEngine upgraded Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Saturday, March 9th. SunTrust Banks reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $47.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a research note on Monday, January 7th. Guggenheim reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $44.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a research note on Monday, January 7th. Finally, Citigroup upgraded Southern from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and lifted their price objective for the company from $45.00 to $50.00 in a research note on Thursday, January 24th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $47.15.
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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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