Vicus Capital grew its holdings in shares of Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 24.0% in the 4th quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The fund owned 27,694 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after acquiring an additional 5,359 shares during the period. Vicus Capital’s holdings in Southern were worth $1,216,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Other hedge funds have also added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Vigilant Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in Southern in the fourth quarter worth $30,000. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust grew its holdings in Southern by 38.1% in the fourth quarter. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust now owns 798 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $35,000 after purchasing an additional 220 shares during the period. Lindbrook Capital LLC acquired a new stake in Southern in the fourth quarter worth $36,000. IMS Capital Management acquired a new stake in Southern in the third quarter worth $37,000. Finally, Mondrian Investment Partners LTD acquired a new stake in Southern in the fourth quarter worth $40,000. 56.76% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
SO has been the subject of a number of research reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $51.00 price target for the company in a report on Wednesday, November 28th. Guggenheim reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $44.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a report on Monday, January 7th. Mizuho reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $46.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a report on Tuesday, December 11th. Barclays lifted their price objective on shares of Southern from $48.00 to $49.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, November 19th. Finally, SunTrust Banks reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $48.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a report 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 has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $46.64.
Shares of SO traded up $0.88 during trading hours on Wednesday, reaching $49.80. 298,120 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 4,309,433. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.48, a current ratio of 0.72 and a quick ratio of 0.58. Southern Co has a 52 week low of $42.38 and a 52 week high of $49.62. The firm has a market capitalization of $49.96 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.49, a PEG ratio of 3.59 and a beta of 0.19.
Southern (NYSE:SO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 20th. The utilities provider reported $0.25 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.23 by $0.02. Southern had a net margin of 10.35% and a return on equity of 12.88%. The company had revenue of $5.34 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.88 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.51 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was down 5.2% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts expect that Southern Co will post 3.04 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, March 6th. Investors of record on Tuesday, February 19th will be given a dividend of $0.60 per share. This represents a $2.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.82%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, February 15th. Southern’s payout ratio is currently 79.47%.
In other Southern news, CEO William P. Bowers sold 90,942 shares of Southern stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, February 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.60, for a total value of $4,419,781.20. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 177,043 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $8,604,289.80. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider Mark Lantrip sold 33,000 shares of Southern stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $49.50, for a total transaction of $1,633,500.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 56,157 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,779,771.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 147,942 shares of company stock worth $7,186,951 over the last three months. 0.73% of the stock is owned by insiders.
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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