Southern Co (SO) Stake Lessened by Benedict Financial Advisors Inc.

Benedict Financial Advisors Inc. lowered its position in shares of Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 3.4% in the first quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 16,552 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 583 shares during the period. Benedict Financial Advisors Inc.’s holdings in Southern were worth $855,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in SO. Patriot Investment Management Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Southern during the 1st quarter worth approximately $264,000. Hussman Strategic Advisors Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Southern during the 1st quarter worth approximately $775,000. D Orazio & Associates Inc. boosted its position in shares of Southern by 100.0% during the 1st quarter. D Orazio & Associates Inc. now owns 1,000 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $52,000 after purchasing an additional 500 shares during the period. Migdal Insurance & Financial Holdings Ltd. boosted its position in shares of Southern by 237.8% during the 1st quarter. Migdal Insurance & Financial Holdings Ltd. now owns 2,432 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $126,000 after purchasing an additional 1,712 shares during the period. Finally, Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado boosted its position in shares of Southern by 5.1% during the 1st quarter. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado now owns 182,436 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $9,428,000 after purchasing an additional 8,829 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 56.59% of the company’s stock.

SO has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. Guggenheim reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $44.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a research report on Monday, January 7th. SunTrust Banks reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $47.00 price target on shares of Southern in a research report on Monday, January 7th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 9th. Citigroup raised shares of Southern from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and raised their price target for the company from $45.00 to $50.00 in a research report on Thursday, January 24th. Finally, reissued a “sell” rating on shares of Southern in a research report on Wednesday, February 13th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $47.54.

In other news, CEO William P. Bowers sold 233,477 shares of Southern stock in a transaction on Tuesday, April 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.29, for a total transaction of $11,975,035.33. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 354,212 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $18,167,533.48. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 18,922 shares of Southern stock in a transaction on Thursday, March 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $50.36, for a total transaction of $952,911.92. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 10,165 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $511,909.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 383,341 shares of company stock valued at $19,342,988. Corporate insiders own 0.73% of the company’s stock.

Shares of SO stock opened at $53.24 on Monday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.37, a current ratio of 0.88 and a quick ratio of 0.54. Southern Co has a 52 week low of $42.42 and a 52 week high of $53.37. The company has a market capitalization of $55.41 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.34, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.91 and a beta of 0.21.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 1st. The utilities provider reported $0.70 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.70. Southern had a net margin of 15.03% and a return on equity of 10.37%. The company had revenue of $5.41 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.66 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.88 EPS. The firm’s revenue was down 15.1% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities analysts forecast that Southern Co will post 3.03 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 6th. Stockholders of record on Monday, May 20th will be given a dividend of $0.62 per share. This is a boost from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.60. This represents a $2.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.66%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, May 17th. Southern’s payout ratio is 78.18%.

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Southern Company Profile

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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