Comerica Bank lessened its holdings in shares of Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) by 1.9% during the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 314,855 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 6,092 shares during the period. Comerica Bank’s holdings in Southern were worth $16,401,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of the company. Captrust Financial Advisors acquired a new stake in shares of Southern during the 2nd quarter worth about $854,000. Fiera Capital Corp increased its position in Southern by 4.3% during the second quarter. Fiera Capital Corp now owns 34,294 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,642,000 after buying an additional 1,399 shares during the period. Jackson Grant Investment Advisers Inc. increased its position in Southern by 1.2% during the second quarter. Jackson Grant Investment Advisers Inc. now owns 3,317 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $159,000 after buying an additional 38 shares during the period. Pathstone Family Office LLC acquired a new position in Southern during the first quarter worth approximately $170,000. Finally, Epoch Investment Partners Inc. increased its position 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 worth $161,765,000 after buying an additional 154,093 shares during the period. 53.78% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of Southern Company (NYSE:SO) traded up $0.53 during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $50.89. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 4,041,500 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,676,242. Southern Company has a one year low of $46.58 and a one year high of $53.51. The stock has a market cap of $50,542.71, a P/E ratio of 18.31, a P/E/G ratio of 4.55 and a beta of 0.13. The company has a quick ratio of 0.57, a current ratio of 0.73 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.73.

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

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, December 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, November 20th were paid a $0.58 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Friday, November 17th. This represents a $2.32 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.56%. Southern’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 414.29%.

In related news, insider Ann P. Daiss sold 5,000 shares of Southern stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, October 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.28, for a total value of $261,400.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 7,394 shares in the company, valued at $386,558.32. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CEO William P. Bowers sold 85,151 shares of Southern 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 disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 213,813 shares of company stock worth $11,029,988 over the last quarter. Company insiders own 1.00% of the company’s stock.

Several research analysts have commented on SO shares. Guggenheim raised Southern from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their price target for the stock from $49.00 to $56.00 in a research report on Thursday, September 14th. Citigroup reaffirmed a “sell” rating and set a $44.00 price target (up previously from $43.00) on shares of Southern in a research report on Tuesday, October 3rd. Zacks Investment Research lowered Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, October 13th. Mizuho raised Southern from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $53.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, September 5th. Finally, BidaskClub lowered Southern from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 10th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Southern has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $49.72.

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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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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