High Point Bank & Trust Co. reduced its position in shares of Southern Co. (NYSE:SO) by 6.6% during the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 3,159 shares of the company’s stock after selling 224 shares during the period. High Point Bank & Trust Co.’s holdings in Southern were worth $169,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also bought and sold shares of SO. Capital City Trust Co. FL increased its stake in shares of Southern by 0.3% in the first quarter. Capital City Trust Co. FL now owns 6,305 shares of the company’s stock worth $326,000 after buying an additional 19 shares in the last quarter. Montrusco Bolton Investments Inc. increased its stake in shares of Southern by 0.5% in the second quarter. Montrusco Bolton Investments Inc. now owns 3,880 shares of the company’s stock worth $208,000 after buying an additional 20 shares in the last quarter. Zions Bancorporation increased its stake in shares of Southern by 1.3% in the first quarter. Zions Bancorporation now owns 2,559 shares of the company’s stock worth $132,000 after buying an additional 32 shares in the last quarter. MAI Capital Management increased its stake in shares of Southern by 1.1% in the second quarter. MAI Capital Management now owns 4,234 shares of the company’s stock worth $227,000 after buying an additional 47 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Strategic Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of Southern by 0.7% in the second quarter. Strategic Advisors LLC now owns 7,930 shares of the company’s stock worth $425,000 after buying an additional 58 shares in the last quarter. 48.92% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Southern Co. (NYSE:SO) traded up 0.99% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $51.97. The stock had a trading volume of 16,959,347 shares. The company has a market cap of $48.93 billion, a PE ratio of 20.63 and a beta of 0.05. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $52.22 and its 200 day moving average price is $51.12. Southern Co. has a one year low of $42.54 and a one year high of $54.64.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $0.74 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.70 by $0.04. Southern had a return on equity of 12.50% and a net margin of 13.77%. The firm earned $4.45 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.54 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.71 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.7% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Southern Co. will post $2.86 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, September 6th. Investors of record on Monday, August 15th were given a dividend of $0.56 per share. This represents a $2.24 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.31%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, August 11th. Southern’s payout ratio is 87.50%.

A number of analysts recently issued reports on the company. Jefferies Group restated a “hold” rating on shares of Southern in a research report on Monday, July 11th. Argus restated a “buy” rating on shares of Southern in a research report on Wednesday, June 15th. Mizuho restated a “hold” rating and issued a $50.00 price target on shares of Southern in a research report on Monday, July 11th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. restated a “neutral” rating and issued a $54.00 price target on shares of Southern in a research report on Thursday, July 14th. Finally, Barclays PLC upgraded Southern from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and raised their price target for the stock from $54.00 to $62.00 in a research report on Thursday, July 14th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. Southern presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $52.32.

In related news, CFO Art P. Beattie sold 62,587 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.00, for a total transaction of $3,254,524.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 75,140 shares in the company, valued at $3,907,280. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Ann P. Daiss sold 7,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.28, for a total value of $365,960.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 9,394 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $491,118.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 1.00% of the company’s stock.

Southern Company Profile

The Southern Company (Southern Company) is a holding company. The Company owns all of the stock of the traditional operating companies and Southern Power Company (Southern Power), and owns other direct and indirect subsidiaries. Southern Company’s segments include the sale of electricity by four traditional operating companies, Southern Power and All Other.

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