Epoch Investment Partners Inc. lowered its position in shares of Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 6.2% in the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 2,782,882 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 184,143 shares during the quarter. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. owned 0.27% of Southern worth $121,333,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in SO. Renaissance Technologies LLC boosted its stake in Southern by 264.9% during the third quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 4,812,401 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $209,821,000 after buying an additional 3,493,601 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC boosted its stake in Southern by 28.2% during the third quarter. FMR LLC now owns 8,617,581 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $375,726,000 after buying an additional 1,896,970 shares in the last quarter. Morgan Stanley boosted its stake in Southern by 35.0% during the second quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 4,929,465 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $228,284,000 after buying an additional 1,278,656 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in Southern by 1.8% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 64,498,296 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,986,915,000 after buying an additional 1,168,307 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Commonwealth Bank of Australia boosted its stake in Southern by 16.1% during the second quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia now owns 8,334,190 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $385,555,000 after buying an additional 1,156,583 shares in the last quarter. 56.58% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

A number of equities analysts recently weighed in on the company. Credit Suisse Group lowered Southern from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating and decreased their price target for the company from $46.00 to $43.00 in a research report on Thursday, August 9th. Bank of America decreased their price target on Southern from $47.00 to $46.00 and set an “underperform” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, August 22nd. Guggenheim lowered Southern from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and decreased their price target for the company from $50.00 to $47.00 in a research report on Wednesday, August 8th. Scotiabank reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $44.00 price target on shares of Southern in a research report on Thursday, August 9th. Finally, UBS Group increased their price target on Southern from $46.00 to $47.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday, October 29th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $46.32.

Shares of Southern stock opened at $47.24 on Thursday. The stock has a market capitalization of $48.70 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.64, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.48 and a beta of -0.07. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.48, a current ratio of 0.72 and a quick ratio of 0.58. Southern Co has a 1 year low of $42.38 and a 1 year high of $52.00.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 7th. The utilities provider reported $1.14 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.07 by $0.07. The firm had revenue of $6.70 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $6.68 billion. Southern had a return on equity of 12.88% and a net margin of 10.35%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $1.12 EPS. On average, research analysts forecast that Southern Co will post 3.03 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 6th. Investors of record on Monday, November 19th will be paid a $0.60 dividend. This represents a $2.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 5.08%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 16th. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is currently 79.47%.

In related news, CEO Kimberly S. Greene sold 15,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.03, for a total value of $705,450.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. 0.73% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

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About Southern

The Southern Company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. 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, New Jersey, Florida, Tennessee, and Maryland, as well as provides gas marketing services, wholesale gas services, and gas midstream operations.

Read More: Asset Allocation, Balancing Your Investments

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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