HPM Partners LLC acquired a new stake in Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) during the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm acquired 4,153 shares of the utilities provider’s stock, valued at approximately $207,000.

Other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. Norges Bank purchased a new position in Southern Company (The) during the fourth quarter valued at $387,991,000. Franklin Resources Inc. increased its position in Southern Company (The) by 21.7% in the fourth quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 16,455,678 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $809,455,000 after buying an additional 2,934,616 shares during the period. FMR LLC increased its position in Southern Company (The) by 60.4% in the fourth quarter. FMR LLC now owns 5,432,418 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $267,220,000 after buying an additional 2,045,418 shares during the period. Asset Management One Co. Ltd. increased its position in Southern Company (The) by 1,329.5% in the fourth quarter. Asset Management One Co. Ltd. now owns 1,657,349 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $81,550,000 after buying an additional 1,541,407 shares during the period. Finally, Luminus Management LLC purchased a new position in Southern Company (The) during the fourth quarter valued at $51,338,000. 53.88% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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

Shares of Southern Company (SO) opened at 51.53 on Friday. The firm has a market capitalization of $51.25 billion, a PE ratio of 19.27 and a beta of 0.11. Southern Company has a 52 week low of $46.20 and a 52 week high of $54.64. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $50.32 and a 200-day moving average of $49.53.

Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 3rd. The utilities provider reported $0.66 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.58 by $0.08. Southern Company (The) had a return on equity of 11.37% and a net margin of 12.38%. The business had revenue of $5.77 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.58 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.58 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 44.6% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts anticipate that Southern Company will post $2.97 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, June 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, May 15th were issued a dividend of $0.58 per share. This is an increase from Southern Company (The)’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.56. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, May 11th. This represents a $2.32 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.50%. Southern Company (The)’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 85.29%.

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Several research firms have recently weighed in on SO. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Southern Company (The) from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 25th. Morgan Stanley lifted their target price on shares of Southern Company (The) from $50.00 to $51.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research report on Monday, May 8th. Argus downgraded shares of Southern Company (The) from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, March 3rd. Barclays PLC reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $55.00 target price on shares of Southern Company (The) in a research report on Monday, May 15th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $56.00 target price on shares of Southern Company (The) in a research report on Wednesday, April 12th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $51.79.

In other Southern Company (The) news, insider Ann P. Daiss sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, June 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.28, for a total transaction of $256,400.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 7,394 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $379,164.32. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP James Y. Kerr II sold 68,609 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, May 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.05, for a total value of $3,433,880.45. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 69,609 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,483,930.45. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 145,549 shares of company stock valued at $7,395,190 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 1.00% of the company’s stock.

About Southern Company (The)

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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