Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) CEO Mark Lantrip sold 25,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, June 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.50, for a total value of $1,287,500.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 31,080 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,600,620. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink.

Shares of Southern Company (NYSE SO) opened at 51.42 on Tuesday. Southern Company has a 12-month low of $46.20 and a 12-month high of $54.64. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $50.37 and a 200 day moving average price of $49.59. The firm has a market cap of $51.14 billion, a PE ratio of 19.23 and a beta of 0.11.

Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 3rd. The utilities provider reported $0.66 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.58 by $0.08. The business had revenue of $5.77 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.58 billion. Southern Company (The) had a return on equity of 11.37% and a net margin of 12.38%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 44.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.58 EPS. On average, analysts forecast that Southern Company will post $2.97 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO)

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, June 6th. Stockholders of record on Monday, May 15th were issued a dividend of $0.58 per share. This represents a $2.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.51%. This is an increase from Southern Company (The)’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.56. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, May 11th. Southern Company (The)’s dividend payout ratio is presently 85.29%.

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A number of brokerages have commented on SO. Zacks Investment Research cut Southern Company (The) from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday. Argus cut Southern Company (The) from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, March 3rd. Mizuho reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $49.50 target price on shares of Southern Company (The) in a report on Wednesday, April 19th. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “buy” rating and set a $55.00 target price (down previously from $56.00) on shares of Southern Company (The) in a report on Thursday, May 4th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reissued a “hold” rating and set a $53.00 target price on shares of Southern Company (The) in a report on Thursday, March 30th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $51.79.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Orrstown Financial Services Inc. increased its stake in Southern Company (The) by 10.8% in the first quarter. Orrstown Financial Services Inc. now owns 2,050 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $102,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the last quarter. Symmetry Partners LLC purchased a new stake in Southern Company (The) during the first quarter worth approximately $103,000. Feltz Wealth PLAN Inc. purchased a new stake in Southern Company (The) during the first quarter worth approximately $108,000. Stuart Chaussee & Associates Inc. increased its stake in Southern Company (The) by 358.8% in the first quarter. Stuart Chaussee & Associates Inc. now owns 2,225 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $111,000 after buying an additional 1,740 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Advantage Investment Management LLC purchased a new stake in Southern Company (The) during the fourth quarter worth approximately $113,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 53.87% of the company’s stock.

About Southern Company (The)

The Southern Company (Southern Company) is a holding company. The Company owns all of the stock of the traditional electric operating companies and the parent entities of Southern Power Company (Southern Power) and Southern Company Gas, and owns other direct and indirect subsidiaries. The Company’s segments include Gas distribution operations, Gas marketing services, Wholesale gas services, Gas midstream operations and All other.

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