Phocas Financial Corp. lessened its stake in shares of Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) by 75.7% during the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 3,440 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 10,729 shares during the quarter. Phocas Financial Corp.’s holdings in Southern Company (The) were worth $165,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in SO. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in Southern Company (The) by 2,961.9% during the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 62,067,822 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,089,736,000 after acquiring an additional 60,040,696 shares in the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC boosted its position in Southern Company (The) by 3,580.1% during the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 4,673,498 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $223,766,000 after acquiring an additional 4,546,503 shares in the last quarter. Capital Research Global Investors boosted its position in Southern Company (The) by 25.3% during the 2nd quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 14,940,226 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $715,338,000 after acquiring an additional 3,015,226 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in Southern Company (The) by 4.1% during the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 68,758,138 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,422,780,000 after acquiring an additional 2,688,854 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Franklin Resources Inc. boosted its position in Southern Company (The) by 3.6% during the 2nd quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 22,379,839 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,071,547,000 after acquiring an additional 770,413 shares in the last quarter. 52.88% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Southern Company (NYSE SO) opened at $50.97 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $51,154.92, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.53, a P/E/G ratio of 4.60 and a beta of 0.15. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.73, a current ratio of 0.73 and a quick ratio of 0.57. Southern Company has a 52 week low of $46.20 and a 52 week high of $53.51.

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

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, December 6th. Investors of record on Monday, November 20th will be paid a $0.58 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, November 17th. This represents a $2.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.55%. Southern Company (The)’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 414.29%.

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A number of research firms have recently weighed in on SO. Zacks Investment Research raised Southern Company (The) from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, November 3rd. Bank of America Corporation reissued an “underperform” rating and issued a $51.00 price objective on shares of Southern Company (The) in a research report on Tuesday, October 24th. SunTrust Banks, Inc. reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $52.00 price objective on shares of Southern Company (The) in a research report on Friday, October 20th. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $56.00 price objective (up previously from $55.00) on shares of Southern Company (The) in a research report on Tuesday, September 12th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group raised Southern Company (The) from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $49.72.

In other Southern Company (The) news, CEO William P. Bowers sold 85,151 shares of Southern Company (The) stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 10th. The stock was 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 at this hyperlink. Also, insider Ann P. Daiss sold 5,080 shares of Southern Company (The) stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.28, for a total value of $270,662.40. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 7,474 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $398,214.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 213,813 shares of company stock valued at $11,029,988 in the last 90 days. 1.00% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

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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