Cambridge Trust Co. boosted its stake in shares of Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) by 20.6% in the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The firm owned 9,564 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after buying an additional 1,633 shares during the quarter. Cambridge Trust Co.’s holdings in Southern were worth $469,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Hyman Charles D lifted its holdings in Southern by 2.1% during the first quarter. Hyman Charles D now owns 331,304 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $16,492,000 after purchasing an additional 6,749 shares during the last quarter. Burney Co. lifted its holdings in Southern by 3.1% during the first quarter. Burney Co. now owns 14,087 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $701,000 after purchasing an additional 421 shares during the last quarter. LMR Partners LLP purchased a new stake in Southern during the first quarter valued at about $531,000. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan lifted its holdings in Southern by 0.4% during the first quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan now owns 51,740 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,576,000 after purchasing an additional 200 shares during the last quarter. Finally, ZWJ Investment Counsel Inc. lifted its holdings in Southern by 255.7% during the first quarter. ZWJ Investment Counsel Inc. now owns 60,861 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,030,000 after purchasing an additional 43,749 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 53.78% of the company’s stock.

Several equities research analysts have commented on the stock. J P Morgan Chase & Co assumed coverage on shares of Southern in a report on Tuesday, August 8th. They set an “overweight” rating and a $16.78 price objective on the stock. SunTrust Banks reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $52.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a report on Friday, October 20th. Bank of America reaffirmed an “underperform” rating and set a $51.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a report on Tuesday, October 24th. Royal Bank Of Canada raised shares of Southern from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $53.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Friday, September 29th. Finally, Morgan Stanley set a $50.00 price objective on shares of Southern and gave the company a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, August 10th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $49.72.

Shares of Southern Company (NYSE SO) traded down $0.09 during trading on Friday, hitting $51.11. 4,709,948 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 3,830,057. Southern Company has a 52-week low of $46.23 and a 52-week high of $53.51. The stock has a market capitalization of $51,385.76, a P/E ratio of 18.62, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.62 and a beta of 0.14. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.73, a quick ratio of 0.57 and a current ratio of 0.73.

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

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, December 6th. Stockholders of record on Monday, November 20th will be issued a $0.58 dividend. This represents a $2.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.54%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, November 17th. Southern’s payout ratio is 414.29%.

In related news, CEO William P. Bowers sold 85,151 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.00, for a total value of $4,257,550.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, insider Ann P. Daiss sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred 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 completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 7,394 shares in the company, valued at $386,558.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 213,813 shares of company stock worth $11,029,988. Insiders own 1.00% of the company’s stock.

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Southern 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 (NYSE:SO)

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