Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY lessened its holdings in Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 2.3% in the 2nd quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The firm owned 153,127 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 3,668 shares during the quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY’s holdings in Southern were worth $7,091,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds have also made changes to their positions in SO. Aperio Group LLC lifted its position in Southern by 6.7% during the first quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 521,946 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $23,310,000 after acquiring an additional 32,547 shares during the last quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC lifted its position in Southern by 13.1% during the first quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 61,015 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,725,000 after acquiring an additional 7,049 shares during the last quarter. Doliver Capital Advisors LP purchased a new stake in Southern during the first quarter valued at approximately $206,000. Riverhead Capital Management LLC lifted its position in Southern by 8.1% during the first quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 114,038 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $5,093,000 after acquiring an additional 8,553 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Intact Investment Management Inc. purchased a new stake in Southern during the first quarter valued at approximately $3,122,000. 57.34% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

A number of research firms recently commented on SO. ValuEngine raised shares of Southern from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, July 2nd. Scotiabank restated a “sector perform” rating on shares of Southern in a research note on Tuesday, July 24th. Morgan Stanley upped their price target on shares of Southern from $42.00 to $45.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a research note on Monday, July 16th. Guggenheim lowered shares of Southern from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and cut their price target for the company from $50.00 to $47.00 in a research note on Wednesday, August 8th. Finally, SunTrust Banks restated a “hold” rating and set a $50.00 price target on shares of Southern in a research note on Monday, August 6th. Eight investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Southern has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $47.10.

In other news, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 16,371 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.40, for a total value of $775,985.40. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 10,165 shares in the company, valued at $481,821. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 0.73% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Shares of Southern stock opened at $44.29 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 0.81, a quick ratio of 0.68 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.59. Southern Co has a 12-month low of $42.38 and a 12-month high of $53.51. The company has a market cap of $44.74 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.67, a P/E/G ratio of 3.30 and a beta of -0.06.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 8th. The utilities provider reported $0.80 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.69 by $0.11. The firm had revenue of $5.63 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.28 billion. Southern had a net margin of 9.96% and a return on equity of 13.06%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 3.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.73 earnings per share. research analysts forecast that Southern Co will post 2.97 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 6th. Stockholders of record on Monday, August 20th were paid a $0.60 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, August 17th. This represents a $2.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 5.42%. Southern’s payout ratio is currently 79.47%.

Southern Profile

The Southern Co is a holding company, which engages in the sale of electricity. It operates through the following segments: Traditional Electric Operating Companies, Southern Power, Southern Company Gas, and All Other. The Traditional Electric Operating Companies segment refers to vertically integrated utilities that own generation, transmission and distribution facilities, and supplies electric services in the states of Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Mississippi.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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