Dimensional Fund Advisors LP Buys 18,841 Shares of The Southern Company (NYSE:SO)

Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in shares of The Southern Company (NYSE:SOFree Report) by 1.0% during the 4th quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 1,978,884 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 18,841 shares during the quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP owned about 0.18% of Southern worth $138,760,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Rockline Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Southern during the fourth quarter worth approximately $1,945,000. Savant Capital LLC lifted its stake in shares of Southern by 4.3% in the 4th quarter. Savant Capital LLC now owns 65,937 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $4,624,000 after purchasing an additional 2,691 shares during the period. Zullo Investment Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of Southern by 4.8% in the 4th quarter. Zullo Investment Group Inc. now owns 3,437 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $241,000 after purchasing an additional 157 shares during the last quarter. Global Retirement Partners LLC grew its stake in shares of Southern by 5.8% during the fourth quarter. Global Retirement Partners LLC now owns 14,856 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,045,000 after purchasing an additional 819 shares during the period. Finally, Principal Securities Inc. bought a new stake in Southern in the fourth quarter valued at about $1,325,000. Institutional investors own 64.10% of the company’s stock.

Analysts Set New Price Targets

Several research firms have recently issued reports on SO. Bank of America boosted their target price on Southern from $70.00 to $73.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 23rd. Scotiabank lowered their target price on shares of Southern from $80.00 to $77.00 and set a “sector outperform” rating for the company in a research note on Monday, April 22nd. BMO Capital Markets reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $76.00 price target (up from $72.00) on shares of Southern in a research report on Monday, April 1st. Mizuho upped their price objective on shares of Southern from $73.00 to $76.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 2nd. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reiterated an “outperform” rating and set a $80.00 target price on shares of Southern in a report on Wednesday, February 21st. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating, seven have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. According to MarketBeat, the company presently has a consensus rating of “Moderate Buy” and a consensus target price of $75.73.

Read Our Latest Stock Report on SO

Insiders Place Their Bets

In related news, CEO Kimberly S. Greene sold 9,126 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $75.04, for a total transaction of $684,815.04. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 121,504 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $9,117,660.16. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. In related news, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, March 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $68.92, for a total transaction of $344,600.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 126,528 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,720,309.76. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, CEO Kimberly S. Greene sold 9,126 shares of Southern stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $75.04, for a total value of $684,815.04. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 121,504 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,117,660.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.18% of the company’s stock.

Southern Stock Performance

Shares of SO stock opened at $79.54 on Friday. The Southern Company has a 12 month low of $61.56 and a 12 month high of $79.85. The company’s fifty day simple moving average is $72.50 and its 200-day simple moving average is $70.47. The firm has a market cap of $87.07 billion, a PE ratio of 20.55, a P/E/G ratio of 4.43 and a beta of 0.48. The company has a quick ratio of 0.65, a current ratio of 0.92 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.67.

Southern (NYSE:SOGet Free Report) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 2nd. The utilities provider reported $1.03 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.90 by $0.13. The company had revenue of $6.65 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $6.59 billion. Southern had a return on equity of 12.07% and a net margin of 16.74%. Southern’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.79 EPS. Equities research analysts expect that The Southern Company will post 3.99 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Southern Increases Dividend

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 6th. Investors of record on Monday, May 20th will be issued a dividend of $0.72 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, May 17th. This is a positive change from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.70. This represents a $2.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.62%. Southern’s payout ratio is presently 72.35%.

Southern Company Profile

(Free Report)

The Southern Company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. The company also develops, constructs, acquires, owns, and manages power generation assets, including renewable energy projects and sells electricity in the wholesale market; and distributes natural gas in Illinois, Georgia, Virginia, and Tennessee, as well as provides gas marketing services, gas distribution operations, and gas pipeline investments operations.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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