BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) by 2,961.9% during the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 62,067,822 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after buying an additional 60,040,696 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. owned 6.26% of Southern Company (The) worth $3,089,736,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds have also recently modified their holdings of SO. Symmetry Partners LLC bought a new position in Southern Company (The) during the first quarter valued at approximately $103,000. Stuart Chaussee & Associates Inc. boosted its position in Southern Company (The) by 358.8% in the first quarter. Stuart Chaussee & Associates Inc. now owns 2,225 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $111,000 after buying an additional 1,740 shares during the last quarter. AlphaMark Advisors LLC boosted its position in Southern Company (The) by 115.7% in the first quarter. AlphaMark Advisors LLC now owns 2,349 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $117,000 after buying an additional 1,260 shares during the last quarter. Ruggie Capital Group boosted its position in Southern Company (The) by 228.0% in the first quarter. Ruggie Capital Group now owns 2,578 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $128,000 after buying an additional 1,792 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Signature Estate & Investment Advisors LLC bought a new position in Southern Company (The) during the first quarter valued at approximately $132,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 53.26% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Southern Company (NYSE SO) traded down 0.62% on Friday, hitting $47.96. 1,144,273 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $48.13 and its 200 day moving average price is $49.41. Southern Company has a 1-year low of $46.20 and a 1-year high of $53.73. The company has a market cap of $47.93 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 78.88 and a beta of 0.12.

Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.73 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.71 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $5.43 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.23 billion. Southern Company (The) had a return on equity of 11.30% and a net margin of 2.93%. Southern Company (The)’s revenue was up 21.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.74 EPS. On average, equities research analysts expect that Southern Company will post $2.94 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, September 6th. Stockholders of record on Monday, August 21st will be paid a $0.58 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, August 17th. This represents a $2.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.81%. Southern Company (The)’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 346.27%.

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SO has been the topic of several research analyst reports. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “buy” rating and set a $55.00 target price (down previously from $56.00) on shares of Southern Company (The) in a research note on Thursday, May 4th. BidaskClub raised shares of Southern Company (The) from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, July 24th. Royal Bank Of Canada lowered their target price on shares of Southern Company (The) from $54.00 to $53.00 and set a “sector perform” rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, June 28th. Barclays PLC reissued a “buy” rating and set a $54.00 target price on shares of Southern Company (The) in a research note on Tuesday, July 25th. Finally, Macquarie raised shares of Southern Company (The) from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $52.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Monday, July 10th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company. Southern Company (The) has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $48.79.

In other news, insider Ann P. Daiss sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.28, for a total value of $256,400.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 7,394 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $379,164.32. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 75,144 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.29, for a total value of $3,703,847.76. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 85,298 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,204,338.42. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 152,084 shares of company stock valued at $7,665,158. 1.00% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

About Southern Company (The)

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 Company (The) (NYSE:SO)

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