Arvest Bank Trust Division lifted its holdings in Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) by 135.3% in the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 10,373 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after acquiring an additional 5,965 shares during the period. Arvest Bank Trust Division’s holdings in Southern Company (The) were worth $497,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other large investors have also made changes to their positions in the stock. Symmetry Partners LLC purchased a new stake in Southern Company (The) in the 1st quarter worth about $103,000. Stuart Chaussee & Associates Inc. raised its position in Southern Company (The) by 358.8% in the 1st quarter. Stuart Chaussee & Associates Inc. now owns 2,225 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $111,000 after purchasing an additional 1,740 shares during the period. IHT Wealth Management LLC raised its position in Southern Company (The) by 15.3% in the 1st quarter. IHT Wealth Management LLC now owns 2,281 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $115,000 after purchasing an additional 302 shares during the period. AlphaMark Advisors LLC raised its position in Southern Company (The) by 115.7% in the 1st quarter. AlphaMark Advisors LLC now owns 2,349 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $117,000 after purchasing an additional 1,260 shares during the period. Finally, Ruggie Capital Group raised its position in Southern Company (The) by 228.0% in the 1st quarter. Ruggie Capital Group now owns 2,578 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $128,000 after purchasing an additional 1,792 shares during the period. 53.27% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

A number of research firms recently weighed in on SO. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Southern Company (The) from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, June 16th. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $56.00 price objective (up from $55.00) on shares of Southern Company (The) in a research report on Tuesday. Morgan Stanley reduced their price objective on shares of Southern Company (The) from $53.00 to $51.00 and set an “underweight” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, June 23rd. BidaskClub lowered shares of Southern Company (The) from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Saturday, June 24th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group raised shares of Southern Company (The) from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $49.63.

Southern Company (NYSE SO) traded up 0.48% during trading on Friday, hitting $50.64. 7,244,756 shares of the stock were exchanged. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $48.86 and its 200 day moving average price is $49.47. The stock has a market cap of $50.61 billion, a P/E ratio of 83.29 and a beta of 0.13. Southern Company has a 12 month low of $46.20 and a 12 month high of $53.73.

Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) last announced its earnings results 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. Southern Company (The) had a net margin of 2.93% and a return on equity of 11.30%. The firm had revenue of $5.43 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.23 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.74 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 21.7% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts forecast that Southern Company will post $2.94 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, September 6th. Investors of record on Monday, August 21st were paid a dividend of $0.58 per share. This represents a $2.32 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.58%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, August 17th. Southern Company (The)’s payout ratio is currently 346.27%.

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In related news, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 75,144 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.29, for a total transaction of $3,703,847.76. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 85,298 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,204,338.42. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. 1.00% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Southern Company (The) 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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