AQR Capital Management LLC decreased its position in Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 24.2% during the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 2,046,040 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 652,438 shares during the period. AQR Capital Management LLC’s holdings in Southern were worth $101,852,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other large investors have also made changes to their positions in SO. Gierl Augustine Investment Management Inc raised its stake in shares of Southern 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 during the last quarter. AlphaMark Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of Southern 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 during the last quarter. Vicus Capital raised its stake in shares of Southern 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 last quarter. Elkfork Partners LLC raised its stake in shares of Southern 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 last quarter. Finally, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board raised its stake in shares of Southern 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 last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 53.57% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Southern Co (NYSE:SO) traded down 0.80% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $48.42. The stock had a trading volume of 3,227,618 shares. The company has a market capitalization of $48.39 billion, a PE ratio of 79.64 and a beta of 0.12. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $48.08 and its 200 day moving average is $49.46. Southern Co has a one year low of $46.20 and a one year high of $53.73.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.73 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.71 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $5.43 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.23 billion. Southern had a negative return on equity of 22.86% and a negative net margin of 24.83%. Southern’s revenue for the quarter was up 21.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.74 earnings per share. Equities analysts expect that Southern Co will post $2.95 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed 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 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.79%. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is currently 346.27%.

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SO has been the subject of a number of research reports. Deutsche Bank AG upgraded Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price objective for the stock from $50.00 to $52.00 in a research report on Tuesday, August 1st. Zacks Investment Research lowered Southern from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, June 16th. Royal Bank Of Canada restated a “hold” rating and set a $53.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Barclays PLC restated a “buy” rating and set a $55.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a research report on Friday, May 5th. Finally, BidaskClub lowered Southern from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Saturday, June 24th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company. Southern currently has an average 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 dated Wednesday, June 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.50, for a total transaction of $1,287,500.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 31,080 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,600,620. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Ann P. Daiss sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.28, for a total value of $256,400.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 7,394 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $379,164.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 152,084 shares of company stock valued at $7,665,158 over the last ninety days. 1.00% of the stock is owned by insiders.

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.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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