Earnest Partners LLC grew its holdings in Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) by 1.1% during the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 220,204 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 2,480 shares during the quarter. Earnest Partners LLC’s holdings in Southern Company (The) were worth $10,543,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other hedge funds have also added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Southern Company (The) by 2,961.9% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 62,067,822 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,089,736,000 after buying an additional 60,040,696 shares during the period. Janus Henderson Group PLC lifted its stake in shares of Southern Company (The) by 3,580.1% during the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 4,673,498 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $223,766,000 after buying an additional 4,546,503 shares during the period. Capital Research Global Investors lifted its stake in shares of Southern Company (The) by 25.3% during the second quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 14,940,226 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $715,338,000 after buying an additional 3,015,226 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Southern Company (The) by 4.1% during the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 68,758,138 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,422,780,000 after buying an additional 2,688,854 shares during the period. Finally, Franklin Resources Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Southern Company (The) by 3.6% during the second quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 22,379,839 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,071,547,000 after buying an additional 770,413 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 52.88% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Southern Company (NYSE SO) opened at $51.82 on Tuesday. Southern Company has a 52-week low of $46.20 and a 52-week high of $53.51. The stock has a market cap of $51,546.34, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.68, a PEG ratio of 4.64 and a beta of 0.15. The company has a quick ratio of 0.57, a current ratio of 0.73 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.73.

Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 1st. The utilities provider reported $1.12 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.08 by $0.04. Southern Company (The) had a net margin of 2.59% and a return on equity of 10.81%. The company had revenue of $6.20 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $6.16 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.27 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts forecast that Southern Company will post 2.95 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, December 6th. Stockholders of record on Monday, November 20th will be given a $0.58 dividend. This represents a $2.32 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.48%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 17th. Southern Company (The)’s payout ratio is currently 414.29%.

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Several equities analysts recently issued reports on SO shares. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Southern Company (The) from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, September 11th. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “buy” rating and set a $56.00 price objective (up previously from $55.00) on shares of Southern Company (The) in a research note on Tuesday, September 12th. KeyCorp reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Southern Company (The) in a research note on Friday, September 1st. Mizuho raised shares of Southern Company (The) from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $53.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, September 5th. Finally, Bank of America Corporation reaffirmed an “underperform” rating and set a $51.00 price target on shares of Southern Company (The) in a research note on Tuesday, October 24th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $49.72.

In related news, CEO William P. Bowers sold 85,151 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, October 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.00, for a total transaction of $4,257,550.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Ann P. Daiss sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, October 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.28, for a total transaction of $261,400.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 7,394 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $386,558.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 213,813 shares of company stock valued at $11,029,988 in the last three months. Company insiders own 0.74% 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.

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

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