Creative Planning increased its position in Southern Co. (NYSE:SO) by 4.5% during the third quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 177,102 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 7,634 shares during the period. Creative Planning’s holdings in Southern were worth $9,085,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other large investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in 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 in the last quarter. State Street Corp increased its position 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 in the last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. increased its position 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 in the last quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors increased its position 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 in the last quarter. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its position 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 in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 50.49% of the company’s stock.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Southern (NYSE:SO)

Southern Co. (NYSE:SO) traded up 0.217% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $48.415. 4,156,024 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. Southern Co. has a 1-year low of $43.72 and a 1-year high of $54.64. The firm has a market cap of $47.45 billion, a PE ratio of 18.181 and a beta of 0.07. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $49.57 and a 200 day moving average of $51.19.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last announced its earnings results on Monday, October 31st. The company reported $1.28 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ 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 business earned $6.26 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.41 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.17 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 16.0% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts forecast that Southern Co. will post $2.90 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, December 6th. Investors of record on Monday, November 21st will be issued a dividend of $0.56 per share. This represents a $2.24 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.69%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 17th. Southern’s payout ratio is 83.27%.

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A number of research firms have recently weighed in on SO. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 26th. SunTrust Banks Inc. raised their price target on shares of Southern from $52.00 to $54.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Monday, September 26th. Finally, Jefferies Group restated a “hold” rating on shares of Southern in a report on Thursday, August 4th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $53.50.

Southern Company Profile

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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