New York State Common Retirement Fund boosted its holdings in Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) by 0.5% in the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 2,583,000 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 12,500 shares during the quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund owned approximately 0.26% of Southern worth $126,929,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of the company. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in shares of Southern 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 during the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC boosted its position in shares of Southern 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 during the last quarter. Capital Research Global Investors boosted its position in shares of Southern 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 during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of Southern 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 during the last quarter. Finally, Franklin Resources Inc. boosted its position in shares of Southern 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 during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 53.78% of the company’s stock.

A number of research analysts have recently commented on the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Southern from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, November 3rd. Bank of America restated an “underperform” rating and set a $51.00 price target on shares of Southern in a report on Tuesday, October 24th. SunTrust Banks restated a “hold” rating and set a $52.00 price target on shares of Southern in a report on Friday, October 20th. Jefferies Group restated a “buy” rating and set a $56.00 price target (up previously from $55.00) on shares of Southern in a report on Tuesday, September 12th. Finally, Guggenheim upgraded Southern from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their price target for the company from $49.00 to $56.00 in a report on Thursday, September 14th. 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 stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $49.72.

Southern Company (SO) traded up $0.24 during trading hours on Wednesday, reaching $50.60. The company had a trading volume of 1,530,000 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,240,000. 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 has a one year low of $46.58 and a one year high of $53.51. The stock has a market cap of $50,780.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.30, a PEG ratio of 4.54 and a beta of 0.13.

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

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, December 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, November 20th will be paid a $0.58 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 17th. This represents a $2.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.58%. Southern’s payout ratio is 414.29%.

In other Southern news, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 46,641 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.00, for a total value of $2,471,973.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 56,799 shares in the company, valued at $3,010,347. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, VP James Y. Kerr II sold 25,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, October 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.16, for a total value of $1,304,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 26,000 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,356,160. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 213,813 shares of company stock worth $11,029,988. Insiders own 0.74% 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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