Trading Report: The Southern Co. Plans Quarterly Dividend of $0.56 (SO)

The Southern Co. Plans Quarterly Dividend of $0.56 (SO)

Southern Co. (NYSE:SO) declared a quarterly dividend on Monday, October 17th. Shareholders of record on Monday, November 21st will be paid a dividend of 0.56 per share on Tuesday, December 6th. This represents a $2.24 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.42%.

Southern (NYSE:SO) opened at 50.69 on Tuesday. Southern has a 12 month low of $43.38 and a 12 month high of $54.64. The firm has a market capitalization of $47.73 billion, a PE ratio of 20.12 and a beta of 0.08. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $51.40 and a 200 day moving average of $51.36.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $0.74 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.70 by $0.04. Southern had a net margin of 13.77% and a return on equity of 12.50%. The company earned $4.45 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.54 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.71 earnings per share. Southern’s revenue was up 2.7% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts forecast that Southern will post $2.86 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, CEO Mark A. Crosswhite sold 167,273 shares of Southern stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.30, for a total value of $8,915,650.90. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 171,983 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $9,166,693.90. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CEO Stan W. Connally sold 14,392 shares of Southern stock in a transaction on Monday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.75, for a total transaction of $773,570.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 17,716 shares in the company, valued at $952,235. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.00% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Krilogy Financial LLC increased its position in shares of Southern by 87.8% in the second quarter. Krilogy Financial LLC now owns 2,066 shares of the company’s stock valued at $111,000 after buying an additional 966 shares during the last quarter. Loomis Sayles & Co. L P increased its position in shares of Southern by 447.9% in the second quarter. Loomis Sayles & Co. L P now owns 2,471 shares of the company’s stock valued at $133,000 after buying an additional 2,020 shares during the last quarter. Sunbelt Securities Inc. increased its position in shares of Southern by 9.7% in the second quarter. Sunbelt Securities Inc. now owns 3,440 shares of the company’s stock valued at $184,000 after buying an additional 303 shares during the last quarter. Seven Eight Capital LLC purchased a new position in shares of Southern during the second quarter valued at approximately $184,000. Finally, Eagle Global Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of Southern during the second quarter valued at approximately $201,000. 48.64% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

A number of equities analysts have recently commented on the stock. Jefferies Group restated a “hold” rating on shares of Southern in a research report on Thursday, August 4th. SunTrust Banks Inc. cut their price objective on shares of Southern from $52.00 to $51.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, September 12th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $60.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, September 27th. Mizuho raised their price objective on shares of Southern from $50.00 to $52.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 12th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reiterated a “neutral” rating and set a $54.00 target price on shares of Southern in a research report on Thursday, July 14th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $53.50.

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