Kentucky Retirement Systems cut its holdings in Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 38.5% in the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 44,755 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 28,043 shares during the period. Kentucky Retirement Systems’ holdings in Southern were worth $1,966,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other hedge funds have also added to or reduced their stakes in SO. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund grew its holdings in shares of Southern by 4,238.0% in the fourth quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 4,812,534 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $110,000 after acquiring an additional 4,701,596 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC grew its holdings in Southern by 264.9% during the third quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 4,812,401 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $209,821,000 after purchasing an additional 3,493,601 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in Southern by 4.0% during the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 67,971,011 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,985,286,000 after purchasing an additional 2,593,928 shares during the period. FMR LLC grew its holdings in Southern by 28.2% during the third quarter. FMR LLC now owns 8,617,581 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $375,726,000 after purchasing an additional 1,896,970 shares during the period. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System grew its holdings in Southern by 45.0% during the fourth quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 5,303,634 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $232,936,000 after purchasing an additional 1,645,805 shares during the period. 56.81% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Shares of Southern stock traded down $0.61 during trading hours on Thursday, reaching $51.62. The company had a trading volume of 94,276 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,655,977. Southern Co has a one year low of $42.42 and a one year high of $52.65. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.40, a current ratio of 0.67 and a quick ratio of 0.54. The firm has a market capitalization of $53.93 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.82, a PEG ratio of 3.85 and a beta of 0.19.

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 Zacks’ 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 firm had revenue of $5.34 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.88 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.51 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 5.2% on a year-over-year basis. Sell-side analysts expect that Southern Co will post 3.03 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, March 6th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, February 19th were issued a $0.60 dividend. This represents a $2.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.65%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, February 15th. Southern’s payout ratio is currently 78.18%.

In related news, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 18,922 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, March 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $50.36, for a total value of $952,911.92. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 10,165 shares in the company, valued at $511,909.40. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Director Henry A. Clark III acquired 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, March 5th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $50.19 per share, for a total transaction of $100,380.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 2,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $100,380. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders sold 142,864 shares of company stock valued at $7,006,193 over the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 0.73% of the company’s stock.

Several equities analysts have weighed in on SO shares. Zacks Investment Research lowered Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, December 6th. reissued a “sell” rating on shares of Southern in a report on Wednesday, February 13th. Credit Suisse Group increased their price objective on Southern from $44.00 to $46.00 and gave the company an “underperform” rating in a report on Thursday, December 6th. ValuEngine raised Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday, March 9th. Finally, Guggenheim reissued a “hold” rating and set a $44.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a report on Monday, January 7th. Six analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $47.00.

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Southern Company 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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