State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System Boosts Holdings in Southern Co (NYSE:SO)

State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System lifted its stake in Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 0.6% during the second quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The institutional investor owned 1,451,741 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after acquiring an additional 8,688 shares during the period. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System’s holdings in Southern were worth $80,252,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Lakeview Capital Partners LLC boosted its stake in Southern by 1.7% during the 2nd quarter. Lakeview Capital Partners LLC now owns 31,669 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,751,000 after purchasing an additional 534 shares during the period. GWM Advisors LLC boosted its stake in Southern by 5.9% during the 2nd quarter. GWM Advisors LLC now owns 24,039 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,329,000 after purchasing an additional 1,343 shares during the period. Meeder Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in Southern by 4,596.3% during the 2nd quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. now owns 1,268 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $70,000 after purchasing an additional 1,241 shares during the period. Rudd International Inc. acquired a new stake in Southern during the 2nd quarter worth $1,796,000. Finally, Cornerstone Wealth Management LLC boosted its stake in Southern by 21.3% during the 2nd quarter. Cornerstone Wealth Management LLC now owns 7,475 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $413,000 after purchasing an additional 1,313 shares during the period. 57.72% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of SO stock traded down $0.13 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $57.81. The stock had a trading volume of 1,303,943 shares, compared to its average volume of 5,305,768. Southern Co has a fifty-two week low of $42.50 and a fifty-two week high of $58.78. The firm has a market cap of $59.80 billion, a PE ratio of 18.83, a PEG ratio of 4.23 and a beta of 0.18. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.33, a current ratio of 0.76 and a quick ratio of 0.59. The company’s 50-day simple moving average is $56.49 and its 200-day simple moving average is $53.31.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, July 31st. The utilities provider reported $0.80 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.72 by $0.08. Southern had a net margin of 20.18% and a return on equity of 10.04%. The company had revenue of $5.10 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.12 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.80 EPS. The business’s revenue was down 9.4% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts expect that Southern Co will post 3.02 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 6th. Stockholders of record on Monday, August 19th will be paid a $0.62 dividend. This represents a $2.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.29%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, August 16th. Southern’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 80.78%.

A number of brokerages recently weighed in on SO. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 21st. Mizuho increased their price target on shares of Southern from $48.50 to $55.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday, June 13th. KeyCorp began coverage on shares of Southern in a research note on Tuesday, June 4th. They set a “sector weight” rating for the company. Evercore ISI upgraded shares of Southern from an “in-line” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, May 3rd. Finally, Bank of America reduced their target price on shares of Southern from $61.00 to $60.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, August 1st. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company. Southern currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $53.10.

In other news, EVP James Y. Kerr II sold 25,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $58.16, for a total value of $1,454,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 67,655 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,934,814.80. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.50, for a total transaction of $107,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 75,772 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,053,802. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 765,761 shares of company stock valued at $42,205,297 in the last 90 days. Company insiders own 0.88% of the company’s stock.

About Southern

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.

Further Reading: Cost of Capital Explained

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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