Earnest Partners LLC cut its position in Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) by 3.1% during the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 217,724 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 6,944 shares during the period. Earnest Partners LLC’s holdings in Southern Company (The) were worth $10,838,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of the company. Gierl Augustine Investment Management Inc boosted its position in shares of Southern Company (The) by 8.8% in the first quarter. Gierl Augustine Investment Management Inc now owns 72,041 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,586,000 after buying an additional 5,844 shares in the last quarter. AlphaMark Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Southern Company (The) by 115.7% in the first quarter. AlphaMark Advisors LLC now owns 2,349 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $117,000 after buying an additional 1,260 shares in the last quarter. Vicus Capital boosted its stake in Southern Company (The) by 11.9% in the first quarter. Vicus Capital now owns 16,423 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $818,000 after buying an additional 1,745 shares during the period. Elkfork Partners LLC boosted its stake in Southern Company (The) by 23.9% in the first quarter. Elkfork Partners LLC now owns 695,470 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $34,620,000 after buying an additional 134,062 shares during the period. Finally, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board boosted its stake in Southern Company (The) by 876.2% in the first quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 1,074,910 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $53,509,000 after buying an additional 964,800 shares during the period. 53.57% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Southern Company (SO) traded down 0.3755% on Friday, hitting $48.6267. 942,545 shares of the company were exchanged. Southern Company has a one year low of $46.20 and a one year high of $53.73. The firm has a market cap of $48.60 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 79.9781 and a beta of 0.12. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $48.14 and a 200 day moving average price of $49.47.

Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.73 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.71 by $0.02. Southern Company (The) had a net margin of 2.93% and a return on equity of 11.30%. The company had revenue of $5.43 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.23 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.74 earnings per share. Southern Company (The)’s quarterly revenue was up 21.7% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Southern Company will post $2.95 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, September 6th. Stockholders of record on Monday, August 21st will be given a dividend of $0.58 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, August 17th. This represents a $2.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.75%. Southern Company (The)’s payout ratio is 346.27%.

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SO has been the topic of a number of recent analyst reports. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $55.00 price target (down previously from $56.00) on shares of Southern Company (The) in a report on Thursday, May 4th. BidaskClub raised Southern Company (The) from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, July 24th. Barclays PLC reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and set a $56.00 price target (up previously from $53.00) on shares of Southern Company (The) in a report on Sunday, April 23rd. Mizuho reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $49.50 price target on shares of Southern Company (The) in a report on Wednesday, April 19th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada cut their price target on Southern Company (The) from $54.00 to $53.00 and set a “sector perform” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, June 28th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $48.79.

In other news, CEO Mark Lantrip sold 25,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, June 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.50, for a total transaction of $1,287,500.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 31,080 shares in the company, valued at $1,600,620. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 75,144 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $49.29, for a total transaction of $3,703,847.76. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 85,298 shares in the company, valued at $4,204,338.42. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 152,084 shares of company stock worth $7,665,158 over the last quarter. 1.00% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Southern Company (The) 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 Company (The) (NYSE:SO)

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