BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA increased its position in shares of Southern Co. (NYSE:SO) by 4.7% during the third quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 404,860 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 18,197 shares during the period. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA’s holdings in Southern were worth $20,769,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of SO. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Southern by 5.6% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 60,379,260 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,238,139,000 after buying an additional 3,222,084 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its stake in Southern by 1.9% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 46,544,013 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,496,153,000 after buying an additional 858,466 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. raised its stake in Southern by 3.0% in the second quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 25,650,940 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,375,660,000 after buying an additional 749,727 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors raised its stake in Southern by 13.0% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 19,032,403 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,020,708,000 after buying an additional 2,194,490 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its stake in Southern by 0.5% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 10,577,864 shares of the company’s stock worth $567,291,000 after buying an additional 57,511 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 49.52% of the company’s stock.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Southern (NYSE:SO)

Southern Co. (NYSE:SO) traded down 0.78% during trading on Friday, reaching $47.13. 5,611,586 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. Southern Co. has a one year low of $43.72 and a one year high of $54.64. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $50.61 and its 200-day moving average price is $51.33. The stock has a market cap of $46.19 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.70 and a beta of 0.07.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Monday, October 31st. The company reported $1.28 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.17 by $0.11. Southern had a net margin of 14.14% and a return on equity of 12.69%. The firm earned $6.26 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.41 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.17 EPS. Southern’s revenue for the quarter was up 16.0% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Southern Co. will post $2.90 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, December 6th. Investors of record on Monday, November 21st will be given a $0.56 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, November 17th. This represents a $2.24 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.75%. Southern’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 83.27%.

SO has been the topic of a number of research reports. Jefferies Group increased their price objective on shares of Southern from $50.00 to $55.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 28th. SunTrust Banks Inc. cut their price objective on shares of Southern from $53.00 to $51.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, August 29th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $60.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, September 27th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. Southern currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $53.50.

About Southern

The Southern Company (Southern Company) is a holding company. The Company owns all of the stock of the traditional operating companies and Southern Power Company (Southern Power), and owns other direct and indirect subsidiaries. Southern Company’s segments include the sale of electricity by four traditional operating companies, Southern Power and All Other.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:SO

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