Griffin Asset Management Inc. Lowers Holdings in The Southern Company (NYSE:SO)

Griffin Asset Management Inc. trimmed its holdings in The Southern Company (NYSE:SOGet Rating) by 1.5% in the 1st quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The firm owned 17,147 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 261 shares during the period. Griffin Asset Management Inc.’s holdings in Southern were worth $1,243,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of the stock. Stonnington Group LLC grew its position in Southern by 236.3% in the first quarter. Stonnington Group LLC now owns 13,805 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,028,000 after acquiring an additional 9,700 shares during the period. RDA Financial Network boosted its position in shares of Southern by 20.9% during the first quarter. RDA Financial Network now owns 12,710 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $922,000 after buying an additional 2,196 shares during the period. Old Port Advisors boosted its position in shares of Southern by 4.7% during the first quarter. Old Port Advisors now owns 20,668 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,532,000 after buying an additional 927 shares during the period. Private Trust Co. NA boosted its position in shares of Southern by 3.7% during the first quarter. Private Trust Co. NA now owns 18,857 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,367,000 after buying an additional 678 shares during the period. Finally, CHURCHILL MANAGEMENT Corp purchased a new position in shares of Southern during the first quarter worth $6,912,000. Institutional investors own 60.58% of the company’s stock.

In related news, CEO Kimberly S. Greene sold 40,419 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, April 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $75.30, for a total transaction of $3,043,550.70. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 123,120 shares in the company, valued at $9,270,936. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Kimberly S. Greene sold 100,005 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.05, for a total transaction of $7,005,350.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 307,831 shares of company stock valued at $22,373,794 over the last quarter. 0.37% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Shares of Southern stock opened at $67.69 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.55, a current ratio of 0.89 and a quick ratio of 0.70. The Southern Company has a 1 year low of $60.12 and a 1 year high of $77.24. The company has a market capitalization of $71.92 billion, a P/E ratio of 31.34, a P/E/G ratio of 4.59 and a beta of 0.48. The business has a 50 day moving average price of $73.44 and a 200 day moving average price of $69.98.

Southern (NYSE:SOGet Rating) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 28th. The utilities provider reported $0.97 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.91 by $0.06. Southern had a return on equity of 11.35% and a net margin of 10.09%. The firm had revenue of $6.60 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.93 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.98 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 11.7% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, research analysts expect that The Southern Company will post 3.56 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, June 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, May 16th were issued a $0.68 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Friday, May 13th. This is an increase from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.66. This represents a $2.72 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.02%. Southern’s payout ratio is 125.93%.

SO has been the subject of several research analyst reports. Mizuho raised their price target on Southern from $67.00 to $76.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 21st. BMO Capital Markets cut their target price on Southern from $81.00 to $70.00 in a research report on Wednesday. StockNews.com initiated coverage on Southern in a report on Thursday, March 31st. They issued a “hold” rating on the stock. Credit Suisse Group initiated coverage on Southern in a report on Monday, April 25th. They issued an “underperform” rating and a $77.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, Morgan Stanley lowered their price objective on Southern from $67.00 to $66.00 and set an “underweight” rating on the stock in a report on Monday, May 23rd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, Southern currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $72.88.

About Southern (Get Rating)

The Southern Company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. It operates through Gas Distribution Operations, Gas Pipeline Investments, Wholesale Gas Services, and Gas Marketing Services segments. 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, wholesale gas services, and gas pipeline investments operations.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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