Sky Investment Group LLC decreased its position in shares of Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 1.0% during the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 75,282 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 750 shares during the quarter. Sky Investment Group LLC’s holdings in Southern were worth $3,891,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently modified their holdings of the company. Old Port Advisors acquired a new stake in Southern in the 1st quarter valued at $205,000. Financial Architects Inc grew its stake in Southern by 11.7% in the 4th quarter. Financial Architects Inc now owns 17,924 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $787,000 after acquiring an additional 1,877 shares during the period. American Asset Management Inc. grew its stake in Southern by 13.4% in the 4th quarter. American Asset Management Inc. now owns 13,520 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $594,000 after acquiring an additional 1,595 shares during the period. Rampart Investment Management Company LLC grew its stake in Southern by 168.3% in the 4th quarter. Rampart Investment Management Company LLC now owns 77,416 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,400,000 after acquiring an additional 48,561 shares during the period. Finally, LPL Financial LLC grew its stake in Southern by 1.2% in the 4th quarter. LPL Financial LLC now owns 795,878 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $34,955,000 after acquiring an additional 9,686 shares during the period. 56.89% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

In other news, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 7,000 shares of Southern stock in a transaction on Thursday, April 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.68, for a total transaction of $361,760.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 77,772 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,019,256.96. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CEO William P. Bowers sold 90,942 shares of Southern stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $48.60, for a total value of $4,419,781.20. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 177,043 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,604,289.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 383,341 shares of company stock worth $19,342,988. Insiders own 0.73% of the company’s stock.

Shares of SO stock opened at $51.96 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.40, a quick ratio of 0.54 and a current ratio of 0.67. The firm has a market capitalization of $54.08 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.93, a PEG ratio of 3.82 and a beta of 0.20. Southern Co has a fifty-two week low of $42.42 and a fifty-two week high of $52.98.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 20th. The utilities provider reported $0.25 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.23 by $0.02. Southern had a return on equity of 11.39% and a net margin of 9.54%. The business had revenue of $5.34 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.88 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.51 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 5.2% compared to the same quarter last year. Sell-side analysts expect that Southern Co will post 3.03 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, June 6th. Stockholders of record on Monday, May 20th will be issued a dividend of $0.62 per share. This represents a $2.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.77%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, May 17th. This is a positive change from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.60. Southern’s payout ratio is currently 78.18%.

A number of equities research analysts recently issued reports on SO shares. Guggenheim reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $44.00 price target on shares of Southern in a research note on Monday, January 7th. SunTrust Banks restated a “hold” rating and issued a $47.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a report on Monday, January 7th. restated a “sell” rating on shares of Southern in a report on Wednesday, February 13th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $49.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Saturday, January 5th. Finally, Citigroup upgraded Southern from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and raised their price objective for the company from $45.00 to $50.00 in a report on Thursday, January 24th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the stock. Southern presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $47.15.

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Southern Profile

The Southern Company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. It operates in four segments: Gas Distribution Operations, Gas Pipeline Investments, Wholesale Gas Services, and Gas Marketing Services. 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, and Tennessee, as well as provides gas marketing services, wholesale gas services, and gas pipeline investments operations.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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