Brookstone Capital Management lessened its stake in Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 63.8% in the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 53,276 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 93,846 shares during the quarter. Brookstone Capital Management’s holdings in Southern were worth $2,340,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of SO. Strategic Financial Group LLC grew its holdings in shares of Southern by 9.9% during the fourth quarter. Strategic Financial Group LLC now owns 18,592 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $817,000 after buying an additional 1,677 shares in the last quarter. Stevens Capital Management LP purchased a new stake in shares of Southern during the fourth quarter worth $21,456,000. Cypress Capital Management LLC WY purchased a new stake in shares of Southern during the fourth quarter worth $102,000. WINTON GROUP Ltd grew its holdings in shares of Southern by 27.0% during the fourth quarter. WINTON GROUP Ltd now owns 6,527 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $287,000 after buying an additional 1,388 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund grew its holdings in shares of Southern by 4,238.0% during the fourth quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 4,812,534 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $110,000 after buying an additional 4,701,596 shares in the last quarter. 56.84% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

In other Southern news, insider Mark Lantrip sold 9,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, December 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.58, for a total value of $428,220.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CEO William P. Bowers sold 90,942 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, February 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.60, for a total transaction of $4,419,781.20. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 177,043 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,604,289.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 147,942 shares of company stock valued at $7,186,951 in the last three months. 0.73% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Shares of SO opened at $49.22 on Thursday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.58, a current ratio of 0.72 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.48. Southern Co has a 12-month low of $42.38 and a 12-month high of $49.62. The stock has a market capitalization of $50.49 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.30, a PEG ratio of 3.63 and a beta of 0.19.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, March 6th. Investors of record on Tuesday, February 19th will be issued a $0.60 dividend. This represents a $2.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.88%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, February 15th. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is currently 79.47%.

A number of research firms have recently issued reports on SO. SunTrust Banks reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $48.00 target price on shares of Southern in a report on Thursday, November 8th. Mizuho reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $46.00 target price on shares of Southern in a report on Tuesday, December 11th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $53.00 target price for the company in a report on Tuesday, December 4th. Citigroup raised shares of Southern from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and upped their target price for the stock from $45.00 to $50.00 in a report on Thursday, January 24th. Finally, Barclays upped their price objective on shares of Southern from $48.00 to $49.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, November 19th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $46.64.

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Southern Profile

The Southern Company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. 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, New Jersey, Florida, Tennessee, and Maryland, as well as provides gas marketing services, wholesale gas services, and gas midstream operations.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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