First Fiduciary Investment Counsel Inc. reduced its stake in Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 2.9% during the fourth quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 218,913 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 6,590 shares during the period. First Fiduciary Investment Counsel Inc.’s holdings in Southern were worth $10,528,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Other large investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. Iberiabank Corp raised its stake in Southern by 6.5% in the 3rd quarter. Iberiabank Corp now owns 151,315 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $7,437,000 after acquiring an additional 9,232 shares during the period. Confluence Investment Management LLC raised its stake in Southern by 2.8% in the 4th quarter. Confluence Investment Management LLC now owns 2,050,249 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $98,596,000 after acquiring an additional 55,264 shares during the period. Atlantic Trust Group LLC raised its stake in Southern by 13.4% in the 3rd quarter. Atlantic Trust Group LLC now owns 23,732 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,166,000 after acquiring an additional 2,804 shares during the period. National Pension Service raised its stake in Southern by 3.7% in the 4th quarter. National Pension Service now owns 842,651 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $40,523,000 after acquiring an additional 30,381 shares during the period. Finally, Synovus Financial Corp raised its stake in Southern by 7.2% in the 3rd quarter. Synovus Financial Corp now owns 931,263 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $45,761,000 after acquiring an additional 62,321 shares during the period. 56.39% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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Shares of Southern stock opened at $43.90 on Thursday. Southern Co has a 52-week low of $42.38 and a 52-week high of $53.51. The firm has a market capitalization of $44,530.38, a PE ratio of 51.65, a PEG ratio of 3.39 and a beta of 0.07. The company has a current ratio of 0.74, a quick ratio of 0.59 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.84.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 21st. The utilities provider reported $0.51 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.46 by $0.05. Southern had a return on equity of 11.96% and a net margin of 3.82%. The firm had revenue of $5.63 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.17 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.24 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 8.6% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts predict that Southern Co will post 2.9 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, March 6th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, February 20th were given a dividend of $0.58 per share. This represents a $2.32 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 5.28%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, February 16th. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is presently 272.94%.

A number of equities research analysts recently issued reports on SO shares. SunTrust Banks restated a “hold” rating and issued a $45.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a research note on Tuesday, March 6th. Zacks Investment Research cut Southern from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, January 15th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. started coverage on Southern in a research note on Friday, January 12th. They issued an “underweight” rating and a $46.00 price objective on the stock. Goldman Sachs restated a “sell” rating on shares of Southern in a research note on Wednesday, January 10th. Finally, Mizuho restated a “buy” rating and issued a $52.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a research note on Tuesday, December 26th. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $49.47.

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Southern 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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