The Southern Company (NYSE:SO) Shares Sold by Principal Street Partners LLC

Principal Street Partners LLC lowered its position in The Southern Company (NYSE:SO) by 2.5% during the third quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 6,232 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 160 shares during the quarter. Principal Street Partners LLC’s holdings in Southern were worth $387,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds have also recently modified their holdings of the business. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in shares of Southern by 4.3% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 75,047,966 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $4,541,152,000 after purchasing an additional 3,064,645 shares in the last quarter. Invesco Ltd. raised its stake in shares of Southern by 63.9% in the 2nd quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 5,760,644 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $348,577,000 after purchasing an additional 2,246,542 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC raised its stake in shares of Southern by 7.7% in the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 22,647,246 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,370,384,000 after purchasing an additional 1,626,550 shares in the last quarter. Morgan Stanley grew its position in shares of Southern by 24.4% during the 2nd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 5,433,970 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $328,808,000 after buying an additional 1,064,450 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC grew its position in shares of Southern by 201.8% during the 2nd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 1,507,331 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $91,209,000 after buying an additional 1,007,931 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 59.05% of the company’s stock.

In other Southern news, EVP Christopher Cummiskey sold 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, December 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.45, for a total value of $122,900.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 2,500 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $63.05, for a total transaction of $157,625.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 78,960 shares of company stock valued at $5,296,450. 0.43% of the stock is owned by insiders.

SO stock opened at $68.10 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.47, a current ratio of 0.86 and a quick ratio of 0.69. The firm has a market cap of $72.17 billion, a PE ratio of 24.15, a P/E/G ratio of 3.86 and a beta of 0.51. The Southern Company has a 12 month low of $56.69 and a 12 month high of $69.23. The firm has a 50 day simple moving average of $65.13 and a 200 day simple moving average of $64.27.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 4th. The utilities provider reported $1.23 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.22 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $6.24 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $6.15 billion. Southern had a net margin of 13.40% and a return on equity of 11.38%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 11.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.22 EPS. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that The Southern Company will post 3.38 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, December 6th. Investors of record on Monday, November 15th were given a $0.66 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Friday, November 12th. This represents a $2.64 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.88%. Southern’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 93.29%.

A number of equities research analysts recently weighed in on the stock. Scotiabank downgraded shares of Southern from a “sector outperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, December 15th. Mizuho upgraded shares of Southern from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and upped their target price for the stock from $55.00 to $60.00 in a research report on Monday, December 6th. Morgan Stanley upped their target price on shares of Southern from $61.00 to $65.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, December 21st. UBS Group cut shares of Southern from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 5th. Finally, KeyCorp increased their price objective on shares of Southern from $69.00 to $71.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Thursday. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the stock. According to MarketBeat.com, Southern has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $68.64.

Southern Company Profile

The Southern Co is a holding company. The firm engages in the sale of electricity. It operates through the following segments: Traditional Electric Operating Companies, Southern Power and Southern Company Gas. The Traditional Electric Operating Companies segment refers to vertically integrated utilities that own generation, transmission and distribution facilities, and supplies electric services in the states of Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Mississippi.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Southern (NYSE:SO)