Somerset Trust Co lifted its holdings in Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) by 2.8% during the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 19,742 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after buying an additional 544 shares during the period. Somerset Trust Co’s holdings in Southern Company (The) were worth $945,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other institutional investors have also bought and sold shares of SO. BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Southern Company (The) by 2,961.9% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 62,067,822 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,089,736,000 after buying an additional 60,040,696 shares during the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Southern Company (The) by 205.4% in the 1st quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 8,803,018 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $438,168,000 after buying an additional 5,920,212 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Southern Company (The) by 4.1% in the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 68,758,138 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,422,780,000 after buying an additional 2,688,854 shares during the last quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board increased its holdings in shares of Southern Company (The) by 876.2% in the 1st quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 1,074,910 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $53,509,000 after buying an additional 964,800 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Swiss National Bank increased its holdings in shares of Southern Company (The) by 20.3% in the 1st quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 4,978,424 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $247,826,000 after buying an additional 841,100 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 53.28% of the company’s stock.

SO has been the topic of a number of research reports. Jefferies Group LLC restated a “buy” rating and issued a $55.00 target price on shares of Southern Company (The) in a report on Wednesday, July 19th. Barclays PLC restated a “buy” rating and issued a $54.00 target price on shares of Southern Company (The) in a report on Tuesday, July 25th. Deutsche Bank AG upgraded shares of Southern Company (The) from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $50.00 to $52.00 in a report on Tuesday, August 1st. Mizuho upgraded shares of Southern Company (The) from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $53.00 target price on the stock in a report on Tuesday, September 5th. Finally, Guggenheim upgraded shares of Southern Company (The) from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $49.00 to $56.00 in a report on Thursday, September 14th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Southern Company (The) has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $49.63.

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Southern Company (NYSE:SO) traded down 0.54% during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $49.80. 2,314,164 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $48.93 and its 200-day moving average is $49.45. Southern Company has a 1-year low of $46.20 and a 1-year high of $53.73. The company has a market capitalization of $49.77 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 81.91 and a beta of 0.13.

Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.73 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.71 by $0.02. Southern Company (The) had a net margin of 2.93% and a return on equity of 11.30%. The firm had revenue of $5.43 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.23 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.74 earnings per share. Southern Company (The)’s revenue was up 21.7% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts forecast that Southern Company will post $2.94 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, September 6th. Investors of record on Monday, August 21st were given a dividend of $0.58 per share. This represents a $2.32 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.63%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, August 17th. Southern Company (The)’s payout ratio is currently 346.27%.

In related news, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 75,144 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.29, for a total transaction of $3,703,847.76. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 85,298 shares in the company, valued at $4,204,338.42. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 0.74% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Southern Company (The) Company Profile

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

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