Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Southern Co (NYSE:SO) during the first quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The fund bought 17,326 shares of the utilities provider’s stock, valued at approximately $862,000.

Several other large investors have also made changes to their positions in the stock. Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. raised its stake in shares of Southern by 3.4% in the first quarter. Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. now owns 69,625 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,466,000 after buying an additional 2,306 shares during the period. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of Southern by 5.3% in the first quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 3,164,621 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $157,535,000 after buying an additional 160,633 shares during the period. Brown Advisory Securities LLC raised its stake in shares of Southern by 9.3% in the first quarter. Brown Advisory Securities LLC now owns 6,105 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $303,000 after buying an additional 519 shares during the period. Kernodle & Katon Asset Management Group LLC raised its stake in shares of Southern by 2.3% in the first quarter. Kernodle & Katon Asset Management Group LLC now owns 3,951 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $197,000 after buying an additional 88 shares during the period. Finally, Capital Investment Counsel Inc raised its stake in shares of Southern by 4.1% in the first quarter. Capital Investment Counsel Inc now owns 7,650 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $381,000 after buying an additional 300 shares during the period. 53.57% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Southern Co (NYSE:SO) traded down 0.80% on Friday, reaching $48.42. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 3,227,618 shares. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $48.08 and a 200-day moving average of $49.46. Southern Co has a one year low of $46.20 and a one year high of $53.73. The stock has a market cap of $48.39 billion, a P/E ratio of 79.64 and a beta of 0.12.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.73 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.71 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $5.43 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.23 billion. Southern had a negative return on equity of 22.86% and a negative net margin of 24.83%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 21.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.74 earnings per share. On average, analysts predict that Southern Co will post $2.95 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, September 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, August 21st will be given a $0.58 dividend. This represents a $2.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.79%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, August 17th. Southern’s payout ratio is 346.27%.

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Several equities research analysts recently weighed in on the company. Zacks Investment Research lowered Southern from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 25th. Barclays PLC reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $55.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a report on Monday, May 15th. Credit Suisse Group raised Southern from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, August 3rd. BidaskClub lowered Southern from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday. Finally, Morgan Stanley lifted their price objective on Southern from $50.00 to $51.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a report on Monday, May 8th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $48.79.

In other Southern 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 owns 7,394 shares in the company, valued at $379,164.32. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Art P. Beattie sold 46,940 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, June 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.50, for a total value of $2,417,410.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 59,493 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,063,889.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 152,084 shares of company stock valued at $7,665,158. Company insiders own 1.00% of the company’s stock.

About Southern

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 (NYSE:SO)

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