Azimuth Capital Investment Management LLC Has $1.74 Million Stake in The Southern Company (NYSE:SO)

Azimuth Capital Investment Management LLC lessened its stake in shares of The Southern Company (NYSE:SOFree Report) by 3.3% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 24,809 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 851 shares during the period. Azimuth Capital Investment Management LLC’s holdings in Southern were worth $1,740,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of the stock. Jump Financial LLC bought a new position in shares of Southern in the 3rd quarter worth $620,000. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Southern by 14.7% during the third quarter. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. now owns 5,401 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $350,000 after buying an additional 692 shares during the last quarter. Burney Co. increased its position in shares of Southern by 4.4% during the third quarter. Burney Co. now owns 14,364 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $930,000 after acquiring an additional 601 shares in the last quarter. Annis Gardner Whiting Capital Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Southern in the 3rd quarter worth about $141,000. Finally, Argent Advisors Inc. bought a new position in Southern in the 3rd quarter valued at about $281,000. 64.10% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Insider Activity at Southern

In other news, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $68.92, for a total value of $344,600.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 126,528 shares in the company, valued at $8,720,309.76. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. In other Southern news, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $68.92, for a total transaction of $344,600.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 126,528 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $8,720,309.76. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CEO Kimberly S. Greene sold 9,126 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $75.04, for a total value of $684,815.04. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 121,504 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,117,660.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.18% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades

SO has been the topic of a number of analyst reports. Scotiabank cut their price objective on shares of Southern from $80.00 to $77.00 and set a “sector outperform” rating on the stock in a report on Monday, April 22nd. Royal Bank of Canada restated an “outperform” rating and issued a $80.00 target price on shares of Southern in a research note on Wednesday, February 21st. UBS Group downgraded Southern from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and decreased their price target for the company from $78.00 to $76.00 in a research report on Thursday, April 4th. Bank of America upped their price objective on Southern from $73.00 to $79.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Friday, May 31st. Finally, Barclays lifted their target price on Southern from $65.00 to $66.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Monday, April 15th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating, seven have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Based on data from MarketBeat, the company currently has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average target price of $76.36.

View Our Latest Report on Southern

Southern Price Performance

SO traded down $0.71 on Friday, reaching $77.94. The company had a trading volume of 3,865,793 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,124,041. The Southern Company has a 52-week low of $61.56 and a 52-week high of $80.84. The company has a market cap of $85.22 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.14, a P/E/G ratio of 2.83 and a beta of 0.51. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.67, a quick ratio of 0.65 and a current ratio of 0.92. The business has a 50 day simple moving average of $75.09 and a 200 day simple moving average of $71.47.

Southern (NYSE:SOGet Free Report) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 2nd. The utilities provider reported $1.03 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.90 by $0.13. The firm had revenue of $6.65 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $6.59 billion. Southern had a return on equity of 12.07% and a net margin of 16.74%. The company’s revenue was up 2.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.79 earnings per share. As a group, sell-side analysts anticipate that The Southern Company will post 4 EPS for the current year.

Southern Increases Dividend

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, June 6th. Stockholders of record on Monday, May 20th were paid a $0.72 dividend. This represents a $2.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.70%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, May 17th. This is a positive change from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.70. Southern’s payout ratio is 74.42%.

Southern Company Profile

(Free Report)

The Southern Company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. The company also develops, constructs, acquires, owns, and manages power generation assets, including renewable energy projects and sells electricity in the wholesale market; and distributes natural gas in Illinois, Georgia, Virginia, and Tennessee, as well as provides gas marketing services, gas distribution operations, and gas pipeline investments operations.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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