Pacer Advisors Inc. increased its stake in Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 14.8% during the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 113,234 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 14,604 shares during the quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc.’s holdings in Southern were worth $6,994,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Krane Funds Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in Southern in the 2nd quarter worth $25,000. Lenox Wealth Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Southern in the third quarter worth about $25,000. Thor Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Southern in the first quarter worth about $26,000. Atlantic Trust LLC purchased a new position in Southern in the second quarter worth about $28,000. Finally, Salomon & Ludwin LLC purchased a new position in Southern in the second quarter worth about $29,000. 58.36% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
Several research firms recently commented on SO. Bank of America lifted their price target on Southern from $60.00 to $64.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, September 12th. SunTrust Banks set a $59.00 price target on Southern and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 3rd. UBS Group lifted their price target on Southern from $58.00 to $62.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, September 6th. Barclays reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $57.00 price target on shares of Southern in a research report on Wednesday, June 19th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 6th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $55.70.
Southern (NYSE:SO) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 31st. The utilities provider reported $0.80 earnings per share for the quarter, beating 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 firm had revenue of $5.10 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.12 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.80 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was down 9.4% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts anticipate that Southern Co will post 3.04 EPS for the current fiscal year.
In related news, EVP James Y. Kerr II sold 25,000 shares of Southern stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $60.16, for a total transaction of $1,504,000.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 67,655 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,070,124.80. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 2,000 shares of Southern stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $57.51, for a total transaction of $115,020.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 71,772 shares in the company, valued at $4,127,607.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 202,533 shares of company stock valued at $12,386,567 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.88% of the company’s stock.
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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