Southern Co (SO) Stake Raised by Bollard Group LLC
Bollard Group LLC grew its stake in Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 10.4% during the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 246,925 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 23,180 shares during the quarter. Southern makes up approximately 0.5% of Bollard Group LLC’s holdings, making the stock its 26th biggest holding. Bollard Group LLC’s holdings in Southern were worth $12,761,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Vanguard Group Inc grew its position in Southern by 1.7% in the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 77,467,557 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,377,586,000 after purchasing an additional 1,324,658 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in Southern by 0.9% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 68,560,527 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,543,210,000 after purchasing an additional 589,516 shares during the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC grew its position in Southern by 10.3% in the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 12,763,112 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $559,911,000 after purchasing an additional 1,188,667 shares during the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp grew its position in Southern by 6.5% in the 4th quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 12,013,453 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $527,630,000 after purchasing an additional 731,642 shares during the last quarter. Finally, FMR LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Southern by 20.7% in the fourth quarter. FMR LLC now owns 10,403,435 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $456,919,000 after acquiring an additional 1,785,854 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 56.69% of the company’s stock.
SO stock opened at $53.50 on Monday. Southern Co has a 12 month low of $42.50 and a 12 month high of $54.76. The company has a market cap of $55.14 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.43, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.89 and a beta of 0.21. The company has a quick ratio of 0.69, a current ratio of 0.88 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.37.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 6th. Investors of record on Monday, May 20th will be given a $0.62 dividend. This represents a $2.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.64%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, May 17th. This is an increase from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.60. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is 80.78%.
Several analysts recently commented on SO shares. Evercore ISI raised shares of Southern from an “in-line” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, May 3rd. reissued a “sell” rating on shares of Southern in a research note on Wednesday, February 13th. SunTrust Banks reissued a “hold” rating and set a $52.00 target price on shares of Southern in a research note on Monday, February 25th. reissued a “sell” rating on shares of Southern in a research note on Wednesday, February 13th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $61.00 target price for the company in a research note on Monday, May 20th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $48.23.
In other news, Director Henry A. Clark III purchased 2,000 shares of Southern stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, March 5th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $50.19 per share, for a total transaction of $100,380.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 2,000 shares in the company, valued at $100,380. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Ann P. Daiss sold 7,850 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.06, for a total transaction of $424,371.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 17,862 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $965,619.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 271,035 shares of company stock valued at $13,920,112. 0.73% of the stock is owned by insiders.
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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