Smith Moore & CO. Increases Holdings in The Southern Company (NYSE:SO)

Smith Moore & CO. raised its stake in shares of The Southern Company (NYSE:SO) by 12.7% in the second quarter, Holdings Channel.com reports. The institutional investor owned 22,074 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after buying an additional 2,484 shares during the quarter. Smith Moore & CO.’s holdings in The Southern were worth $1,336,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in SO. JFS Wealth Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of The Southern by 530.3% in the 2nd quarter. JFS Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 416 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $25,000 after purchasing an additional 350 shares in the last quarter. BDO Wealth Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in shares of The Southern in the 1st quarter worth $28,000. Alpha DNA Investment Management LLC increased its stake in shares of The Southern by 35.2% in the 1st quarter. Alpha DNA Investment Management LLC now owns 591 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $36,000 after purchasing an additional 154 shares in the last quarter. Sterling Investment Advisors Ltd. increased its stake in shares of The Southern by 40.0% in the 2nd quarter. Sterling Investment Advisors Ltd. now owns 700 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $42,000 after purchasing an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Total Clarity Wealth Management Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of The Southern in the 1st quarter worth $45,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 59.30% of the company’s stock.

Several equities research analysts have recently commented on SO shares. Argus upped their price objective on The Southern from $68.00 to $73.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 19th. Morgan Stanley upped their target price on shares of The Southern from $60.00 to $64.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a report on Thursday, August 19th. Barclays upped their target price on shares of The Southern from $70.00 to $76.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 25th. Mizuho upped their target price on shares of The Southern from $57.00 to $60.00 and gave the stock an “underperform” rating in a report on Monday, August 30th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of The Southern in a report on Wednesday, May 19th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company. According to data from MarketBeat, the stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $68.69.

In other news, insider Christopher C. Womack sold 51,987 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $66.87, for a total transaction of $3,476,370.69. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 76,647 shares in the company, valued at $5,125,384.89. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Ann P. Daiss sold 1,750 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $64.34, for a total transaction of $112,595.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 87,247 shares of company stock worth $5,813,034 over the last three months. 0.43% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Shares of NYSE:SO opened at $65.97 on Wednesday. The company has a current ratio of 0.82, a quick ratio of 0.65 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.46. The Southern Company has a 12 month low of $52.01 and a 12 month high of $67.54. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $64.79 and a 200 day moving average price of $63.53. The company has a market cap of $69.85 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.21, a PEG ratio of 4.01 and a beta of 0.45.

The Southern (NYSE:SO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 29th. The utilities provider reported $0.84 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.79 by $0.05. The Southern had a net margin of 14.47% and a return on equity of 11.43%. The firm had revenue of $5.20 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5 billion. As a group, equities analysts forecast that The Southern Company will post 3.35 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, September 7th. Investors of record on Monday, August 16th were issued a $0.66 dividend. This represents a $2.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.00%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, August 13th. The Southern’s payout ratio is 81.23%.

The Southern Company Profile

The Southern Co is a holding company. The firm engages in the sale of electricity. It operates through the following segments: Traditional Electric Operating Companies, Southern Power and Southern Company Gas. The Traditional Electric Operating Companies segment refers to vertically integrated utilities that own generation, transmission and distribution facilities, and supplies electric services in the states of Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Mississippi.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for The Southern (NYSE:SO)

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