Hexavest Inc. increased its position in shares of Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 1.9% in the fourth quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The firm owned 1,859,041 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 35,075 shares during the quarter. Southern comprises approximately 1.0% of Hexavest Inc.’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 20th biggest position. Hexavest Inc.’s holdings in Southern were worth $89,401,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Several other hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Mitchell Mcleod Pugh & Williams Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Southern by 6.6% during the 4th quarter. Mitchell Mcleod Pugh & Williams Inc. now owns 41,029 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,973,000 after purchasing an additional 2,533 shares during the period. Acropolis Investment Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Southern during the 4th quarter worth about $134,000. Sawyer & Company Inc purchased a new position in shares of Southern during the 4th quarter worth about $396,000. Rockland Trust Co. boosted its stake in shares of Southern by 0.7% during the 4th quarter. Rockland Trust Co. now owns 369,385 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $17,764,000 after purchasing an additional 2,471 shares during the period. Finally, Trust Co boosted its stake in shares of Southern by 8.5% during the 3rd quarter. Trust Co now owns 15,750 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $774,000 after purchasing an additional 1,235 shares during the period. 53.66% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Southern Co (NYSE:SO) traded down $0.71 on Friday, hitting $45.25. 6,867,800 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 6,578,362. Southern Co has a 52-week low of $45.08 and a 52-week high of $53.51. The stock has a market cap of $45,000.00, a PE ratio of 80.80, a PEG ratio of 3.45 and a beta of 0.14. 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 (NYSE:SO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The utilities provider reported $1.12 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate 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 during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $6.16 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.27 EPS. The company’s revenue was down 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts expect that Southern Co will post 2.96 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

SO has been the subject of several research reports. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, October 13th. Guggenheim raised shares of Southern from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their price objective for the company from $49.00 to $56.00 in a research report on Thursday, September 14th. Mizuho reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $52.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a research report on Tuesday, December 26th. SunTrust Banks reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $50.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a research report on Tuesday, December 26th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group reissued a “sell” rating on shares of Southern in a research report on Wednesday. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Southern has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $51.20.

In related news, insider Ann P. Daiss sold 5,080 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.28, for a total transaction of $270,662.40. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 7,474 shares in the company, valued at approximately $398,214.72. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Ann P. Daiss sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, October 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.28, for a total transaction of $261,400.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 7,394 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $386,558.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 128,662 shares of company stock valued at $6,772,438 in the last ninety days. Corporate 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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