Cullinan Associates Inc. lowered its stake in shares of Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 8.1% during the third quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 48,800 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 4,300 shares during the quarter. Cullinan Associates Inc.’s holdings in Southern were worth $2,128,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other large investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. Global X Management Co LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Southern by 1.5% in the 2nd quarter. Global X Management Co LLC now owns 207,501 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $9,609,000 after purchasing an additional 3,164 shares in the last quarter. Korea Investment CORP boosted its holdings in shares of Southern by 31.7% in the 2nd quarter. Korea Investment CORP now owns 367,006 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $16,996,000 after purchasing an additional 88,300 shares in the last quarter. Summit Trail Advisors LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Southern by 2,614.7% in the 1st quarter. Summit Trail Advisors LLC now owns 226,789 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $227,000 after purchasing an additional 218,435 shares in the last quarter. Centaurus Financial Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Southern by 187.2% in the 2nd quarter. Centaurus Financial Inc. now owns 20,495 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $949,000 after purchasing an additional 13,359 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Anchor Capital Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Southern in the 2nd quarter valued at $234,000. 57.34% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Several research firms recently weighed in on SO. Zacks Investment Research raised Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $49.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Tuesday, October 9th. Bank of America raised Southern from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $46.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Wednesday, October 10th. Morgan Stanley raised their price objective on Southern from $42.00 to $45.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a report on Monday, July 16th. Citigroup downgraded Southern from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $45.00 price objective on the stock. in a report on Wednesday, August 8th. Finally, Howard Weil began coverage on Southern in a report on Tuesday, July 24th. They set a “sector perform” rating and a $45.00 price objective on the stock. Six analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Southern has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $46.04.

NYSE SO opened at $45.07 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $44.94 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.92, a PEG ratio of 3.29 and a beta of -0.05. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.59, a quick ratio of 0.68 and a current ratio of 0.81. Southern Co has a twelve month low of $42.38 and a twelve month high of $53.51.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, August 8th. The utilities provider reported $0.80 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.69 by $0.11. The business had revenue of $5.63 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.28 billion. Southern had a return on equity of 13.06% and a net margin of 9.96%. Southern’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.73 EPS. On average, analysts forecast that Southern Co will post 3 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 6th. Investors of record on Monday, November 19th will be given a dividend of $0.60 per share. This represents a $2.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 5.33%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, November 16th. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is currently 79.47%.

In related news, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 16,371 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.40, for a total transaction of $775,985.40. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 10,165 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $481,821. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 0.73% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Southern Profile

The Southern Company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. The company also constructs, acquires, owns, and manages power generation assets, including renewable energy facilities and sells electricity in the wholesale market; and distributes natural gas in Illinois, Georgia, Virginia, New Jersey, Florida, Tennessee, and Maryland, as well as provides gas marketing services, wholesale gas services, and gas midstream operations.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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