Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. increased its position in Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 5.3% during the first quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 3,164,621 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after buying an additional 160,633 shares during the period. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc.’s holdings in Southern were worth $157,535,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Southern by 4.1% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 68,758,138 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,422,780,000 after buying an additional 2,688,854 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in shares of Southern by 2,961.9% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 62,067,822 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,089,736,000 after buying an additional 60,040,696 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its stake in shares of Southern by 0.5% in the first quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 11,463,868 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $570,670,000 after buying an additional 62,620 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Southern by 8.2% in the first quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 9,573,271 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $475,877,000 after buying an additional 724,650 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Ameriprise Financial Inc. raised its stake in shares of Southern by 205.4% in the first quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 8,803,018 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $438,168,000 after buying an additional 5,920,212 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 53.57% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Southern Co (NYSE:SO) traded down 0.80% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $48.42. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 3,227,618 shares. The stock has a market capitalization of $48.39 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 79.64 and a beta of 0.12. The company has a 50 day moving average of $48.08 and a 200-day moving average of $49.46. Southern Co has a 52 week low of $46.20 and a 52 week high of $53.73.

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

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

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Several analysts have recently commented 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 reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $55.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a report on Monday, May 15th. Credit Suisse Group upgraded 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 increased their price objective on Southern from $50.00 to $51.00 and gave the company 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 assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target 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 shares were sold at an average price of $51.28, for a total transaction of $256,400.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 7,394 shares in the company, valued at $379,164.32. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 75,144 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.29, for a total transaction of $3,703,847.76. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 85,298 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,204,338.42. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 152,084 shares of company stock valued at $7,665,158 over the last ninety days. Corporate 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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