Merriman Wealth Management LLC bought a new stake in Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) during the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor bought 6,246 shares of the utilities provider’s stock, valued at approximately $307,000.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently modified their holdings of SO. Stifel Financial Corp boosted its position in Southern Company (The) by 5.2% in the first quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 1,640,131 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $81,543,000 after buying an additional 81,148 shares during the last quarter. Clinton Group Inc. acquired a new position in Southern Company (The) in the first quarter valued at approximately $2,317,000. Cipher Capital LP acquired a new position in Southern Company (The) in the first quarter valued at approximately $1,594,000. Victory Capital Management Inc. lifted its holdings in Southern Company (The) by 18.8% in the first quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 192,824 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $9,599,000 after acquiring an additional 30,478 shares during the period. Finally, Ruggie Capital Group lifted its holdings 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 acquiring an additional 1,792 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 52.64% of the company’s stock.

In related news, insider Ann P. Daiss sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, October 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.28, for a total transaction of $261,400.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 7,394 shares in the company, valued at $386,558.32. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CEO William P. Bowers sold 85,151 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $50.00, for a total value of $4,257,550.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 213,813 shares of company stock valued at $11,029,988 over the last quarter. 1.00% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of brokerages have issued reports on SO. Credit Suisse Group raised Southern Company (The) from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, August 3rd. BidaskClub downgraded Southern Company (The) from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, August 10th. Citigroup Inc. boosted their price target on Southern Company (The) from $42.00 to $43.00 and gave the company a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 26th. J P Morgan Chase & Co began coverage on Southern Company (The) in a report on Tuesday, August 8th. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $16.78 price target for the company. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada raised Southern Company (The) from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $53.00 price target for the company in a report on Friday, September 29th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Southern Company (The) has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $49.72.

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Shares of Southern Company (NYSE:SO) opened at $51.36 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.73, a quick ratio of 0.57 and a current ratio of 0.73. Southern Company has a 12-month low of $46.20 and a 12-month high of $53.51. The company has a market capitalization of $51,486.12, a P/E ratio of 18.66, a P/E/G ratio of 4.63 and a beta of 0.15.

Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The utilities provider reported $1.12 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.08 by $0.04. Southern Company (The) had a return on equity of 10.81% and a net margin of 2.59%. The firm had revenue of $6.20 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $6.16 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.27 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.0% on a year-over-year basis. analysts predict that Southern Company will post 2.95 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, December 6th. Investors of record on Monday, November 20th will be given a dividend of $0.58 per share. This represents a $2.32 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.52%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 17th. Southern Company (The)’s payout ratio is 414.29%.

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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