Welch Investments LLC boosted its position in shares of Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) by 5.6% during the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The firm owned 100,132 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after buying an additional 5,343 shares during the quarter. Southern Company (The) makes up 3.6% of Welch Investments LLC’s holdings, making the stock its 2nd biggest position. Welch Investments LLC’s holdings in Southern Company (The) were worth $4,794,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in shares of Southern Company (The) by 2,961.9% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 62,067,822 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,089,736,000 after purchasing an additional 60,040,696 shares during the period. Ameriprise Financial Inc. grew its position in shares of Southern Company (The) by 205.4% in the first quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 8,803,018 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $438,168,000 after purchasing an additional 5,920,212 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its position in shares of Southern Company (The) by 4.1% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 68,758,138 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,422,780,000 after purchasing an additional 2,688,854 shares during the period. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board grew its position in shares of 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 valued at $53,509,000 after purchasing an additional 964,800 shares during the period. Finally, Swiss National Bank grew its position in shares of Southern Company (The) by 20.3% in the first quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 4,978,424 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $247,826,000 after purchasing an additional 841,100 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 53.27% of the company’s stock.

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SO has been the topic of several research analyst reports. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $55.00 target price on shares of Southern Company (The) in a research report on Wednesday, July 19th. Barclays PLC reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $54.00 target price on shares of Southern Company (The) in a research report on Tuesday, July 25th. Deutsche Bank AG upgraded shares of Southern Company (The) from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their target price for the company from $50.00 to $52.00 in a research report on Tuesday, August 1st. Mizuho upgraded shares of Southern Company (The) 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, Guggenheim upgraded shares of Southern Company (The) from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their price target for the stock from $49.00 to $56.00 in a research report on Thursday. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. Southern Company (The) presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $49.63.

In other news, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 75,144 shares of the stock in a transaction dated 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 transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 85,298 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,204,338.42. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 1.00% of the company’s stock.

Southern Company (SO) opened at 50.64 on Friday. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $48.86 and its 200-day moving average is $49.47. The stock has a market capitalization of $50.61 billion, a P/E ratio of 83.29 and a beta of 0.13. Southern Company has a 52 week low of $46.20 and a 52 week high of $53.73.

Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.73 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ 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 analysts’ expectations of $5.23 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.74 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 21.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts predict that Southern Company will post $2.94 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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

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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO)

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