Advisors Asset Management Inc. grew its holdings in Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 16.1% in the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 495,184 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after acquiring an additional 68,752 shares during the quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc.’s holdings in Southern were worth $23,709,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of SO. Pathstone Family Office LLC acquired a new stake in Southern during the first quarter worth about $170,000. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. increased its stake in Southern by 5.0% during the first quarter. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. now owns 3,249,597 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $161,765,000 after acquiring an additional 154,093 shares during the period. Pennsylvania Trust Co increased its stake in Southern by 38.2% during the second quarter. Pennsylvania Trust Co now owns 33,700 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,614,000 after acquiring an additional 9,314 shares during the period. First National Bank of Omaha increased its stake in Southern by 0.5% during the second quarter. First National Bank of Omaha now owns 15,070 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $721,000 after acquiring an additional 70 shares during the period. Finally, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. increased its stake in Southern by 14.0% during the first quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 197,743 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $9,844,000 after acquiring an additional 24,248 shares during the period. 53.28% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Shares of Southern Co (SO) opened at 49.14 on Monday. The company has a market capitalization of $49.11 billion, a PE ratio of 80.82 and a beta of 0.13. Southern Co has a 52 week low of $46.20 and a 52 week high of $52.38. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $48.99 and its 200 day moving average is $49.45.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.73 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate 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 net margin of 24.83% and a negative return on equity of 22.86%. Southern’s revenue was up 21.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.74 earnings per share. On average, analysts anticipate that Southern Co will post $2.94 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, September 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, August 21st were issued a $0.58 dividend. This represents a $2.32 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.72%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, August 17th. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is currently 346.27%.

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In other news, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 75,144 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.29, for a total value of $3,703,847.76. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 85,298 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,204,338.42. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. 1.00% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of equities research analysts have weighed in on the stock. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Southern from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, September 11th. BidaskClub cut shares of Southern from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Saturday, June 24th. Macquarie upgraded shares of Southern from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $52.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Monday, July 10th. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $56.00 price objective (up from $55.00) on shares of Southern in a report on Tuesday, September 12th. Finally, Morgan Stanley reduced their price objective on shares of Southern from $53.00 to $51.00 and set an “underweight” rating for the company in a report on Friday, June 23rd. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $49.29.

Southern Company Profile

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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