Rockland Trust Co. boosted its position in shares of Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) by 3.0% during the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 366,914 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after purchasing an additional 10,744 shares during the period. Southern accounts for 2.7% of Rockland Trust Co.’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 7th biggest holding. Rockland Trust Co.’s holdings in Southern were worth $18,030,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of SO. Hyman Charles D lifted its stake in shares of Southern by 2.1% in the 1st quarter. Hyman Charles D now owns 331,304 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $16,492,000 after purchasing an additional 6,749 shares during the last quarter. Burney Co. lifted its position in Southern by 3.1% during the 1st quarter. Burney Co. now owns 14,087 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $701,000 after acquiring an additional 421 shares during the last quarter. LMR Partners LLP acquired a new position in Southern during the 1st quarter worth $531,000. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan lifted its position in Southern by 0.4% during the 1st quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan now owns 51,740 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,576,000 after acquiring an additional 200 shares during the last quarter. Finally, ZWJ Investment Counsel Inc. lifted its position in Southern by 255.7% during the 1st quarter. ZWJ Investment Counsel Inc. now owns 60,861 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,030,000 after acquiring an additional 43,749 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 53.78% of the company’s stock.

In related news, CEO William P. Bowers sold 85,151 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.00, for a total value of $4,257,550.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, VP James Y. Kerr II sold 25,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, October 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.16, for a total transaction of $1,304,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 26,000 shares in the company, valued at $1,356,160. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 213,813 shares of company stock worth $11,029,988 over the last quarter. 1.00% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of research analysts have weighed in on the stock. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Southern from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, November 3rd. Bank of America restated an “underperform” rating and set a $51.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a report on Tuesday, October 24th. SunTrust Banks restated a “hold” rating and set a $52.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a report on Friday, October 20th. Jefferies Group restated a “buy” rating and set a $56.00 price objective (up previously from $55.00) on shares of Southern in a report on Tuesday, September 12th. Finally, Guggenheim upgraded shares of Southern from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their price objective for the stock from $49.00 to $56.00 in a report on Thursday, September 14th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $49.72.

Shares of Southern Company (SO) traded down $0.09 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $51.11. 4,709,948 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 3,830,057. Southern Company has a 12 month low of $46.23 and a 12 month high of $53.51. The firm has a market capitalization of $51,385.76, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.62, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.62 and a beta of 0.14. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.73, a current ratio of 0.73 and a quick ratio of 0.57.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The utilities provider reported $1.12 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.08 by $0.04. Southern had a net margin of 2.59% and a return on equity of 10.81%. The company had revenue of $6.20 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $6.16 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $1.27 earnings per share. Southern’s quarterly revenue was down 1.0% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts anticipate that Southern Company will post 2.95 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, December 6th. Stockholders of record on Monday, November 20th will be given a dividend of $0.58 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 17th. This represents a $2.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.54%. Southern’s payout ratio is 414.29%.

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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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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