Jefferies Group LLC boosted its stake in shares of Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 358.1% in the 3rd quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The fund owned 148,318 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after buying an additional 115,941 shares during the quarter. Jefferies Group LLC’s holdings in Southern were worth $6,467,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of the stock. Global X Management Co LLC raised its position in shares of Southern by 1.5% in the 2nd quarter. Global X Management Co LLC now owns 207,501 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $9,609,000 after acquiring an additional 3,164 shares in the last quarter. Korea Investment CORP raised its position in shares of Southern by 31.7% in the 2nd quarter. Korea Investment CORP now owns 367,006 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $16,996,000 after acquiring an additional 88,300 shares in the last quarter. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. raised its position in shares of Southern by 9.5% in the 3rd quarter. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. now owns 876,977 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $38,233,000 after acquiring an additional 75,812 shares in the last quarter. Centaurus Financial Inc. raised its position in shares of Southern by 187.2% in the 2nd quarter. Centaurus Financial Inc. now owns 20,495 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $949,000 after acquiring an additional 13,359 shares in the last quarter. Finally, State Treasurer State of Michigan raised its position in shares of Southern by 0.9% in the 3rd quarter. State Treasurer State of Michigan now owns 302,230 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $13,177,000 after acquiring an additional 2,700 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 56.58% of the company’s stock.

SO has been the subject of several research reports. Zacks Investment Research raised Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $49.00 target price for the company in a research report on Tuesday, October 9th. SunTrust Banks reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $48.00 target price on shares of Southern in a research report on Thursday, November 8th. Bank of America raised Southern from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $46.00 target price for the company in a research report on Wednesday, October 10th. ValuEngine raised Southern from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, October 19th. Finally, Morgan Stanley decreased their target price on Southern from $45.00 to $44.00 and set a “sell” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, September 21st. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $46.54.

In other news, insider Mark Lantrip sold 9,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, December 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.58, for a total value of $428,220.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CEO Kimberly S. Greene sold 15,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, December 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.03, for a total value of $705,450.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 9,380 shares in the company, valued at $441,141.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.73% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Southern stock opened at $46.52 on Friday. The firm has a market capitalization of $48.60 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.40, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.46 and a beta of -0.07. Southern Co has a 12 month low of $42.38 and a 12 month high of $52.00. 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 (NYSE:SO) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, November 7th. The utilities provider reported $1.14 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.07 by $0.07. The business had revenue of $6.70 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $6.68 billion. Southern had a return on equity of 12.88% and a net margin of 10.35%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 8.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.12 EPS. Equities research analysts forecast that Southern Co will post 3.03 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, December 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, November 19th were issued a $0.60 dividend. This represents a $2.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 5.16%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, November 16th. Southern’s payout ratio is 79.47%.

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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.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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