Acorn Financial Advisory Services Inc. ADV bought a new position in shares of Southern Co (NYSE:SO) during the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor bought 3,713 shares of the utilities provider’s stock, valued at approximately $201,000.

A number of other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of SO. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado increased its holdings in Southern by 9.0% during the 1st quarter. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado now owns 199,468 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $10,799,000 after acquiring an additional 16,514 shares during the period. Silvercrest Asset Management Group LLC grew its stake in Southern by 40.8% in the 1st quarter. Silvercrest Asset Management Group LLC now owns 11,872 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $643,000 after buying an additional 3,442 shares in the last quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. grew its stake in Southern by 43.2% in the 1st quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 3,848,778 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $208,373,000 after buying an additional 1,161,563 shares in the last quarter. Procyon Private Wealth Partners LLC grew its stake in Southern by 100.4% in the 1st quarter. Procyon Private Wealth Partners LLC now owns 5,454 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $295,000 after buying an additional 2,733 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Barings LLC grew its stake in Southern by 3.4% in the 1st quarter. Barings LLC now owns 64,929 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,515,000 after buying an additional 2,148 shares in the last quarter. 57.29% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

NYSE:SO opened at $58.35 on Friday. The company has a fifty day moving average of $54.22 and a 200 day moving average of $54.71. Southern Co has a 52 week low of $41.96 and a 52 week high of $71.10. The company has a quick ratio of 0.75, a current ratio of 0.97 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.46. The firm has a market capitalization of $61.63 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.94, a P/E/G ratio of 4.10 and a beta of 0.39.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 30th. The utilities provider reported $0.78 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.67 by $0.11. Southern had a net margin of 15.83% and a return on equity of 10.47%. The business had revenue of $4.62 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.93 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.80 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 9.4% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, analysts anticipate that Southern Co will post 3.16 EPS for the current year.

A number of research firms have commented on SO. Barclays raised shares of Southern from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $61.00 price target for the company in a research note on Monday, September 21st. UBS Group cut their price objective on shares of Southern from $57.00 to $55.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, September 1st. Mizuho cut shares of Southern from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating and cut their price objective for the company from $53.00 to $48.00 in a research note on Thursday, September 10th. Morgan Stanley upped their price objective on shares of Southern from $56.00 to $57.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a research note on Monday, October 5th. Finally, KeyCorp cut their price objective on shares of Southern from $71.00 to $65.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, July 21st. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $61.90.

In other Southern news, Director David J. Grain sold 10,291 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.92, for a total value of $544,599.72. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 791 shares in the company, valued at approximately $41,859.72. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 2,500 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.00, for a total transaction of $137,500.00. Insiders sold a total of 23,721 shares of company stock valued at $1,301,040 over the last 90 days. Company insiders own 0.39% of the company’s stock.

Southern Profile

The Southern Company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. It operates in four segments: Gas Distribution Operations, Gas Pipeline Investments, Wholesale Gas Services, and Gas Marketing Services. The company also constructs, acquires, owns, and manages power generation assets, including renewable energy facilities and sells electricity in the wholesale market; and distributes natural gas in Illinois, Georgia, Virginia, and Tennessee, as well as provides gas marketing services, wholesale gas services, and gas pipeline investments operations.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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