Henderson Group PLC increased its position in shares of Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) by 0.9% during the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 126,995 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after buying an additional 1,100 shares during the period. Henderson Group PLC’s holdings in Southern Company (The) were worth $6,322,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Orrstown Financial Services Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Southern Company (The) by 10.8% in the first quarter. Orrstown Financial Services Inc. now owns 2,050 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $102,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the period. Feltz Wealth PLAN Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Southern Company (The) during the first quarter worth approximately $108,000. Advantage Investment Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Southern Company (The) during the fourth quarter worth approximately $113,000. Signature Estate & Investment Advisors LLC bought a new stake in shares of Southern Company (The) during the first quarter worth approximately $132,000. Finally, Zions Bancorporation boosted its stake in shares of Southern Company (The) by 9.8% in the fourth quarter. Zions Bancorporation now owns 2,811 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $138,000 after buying an additional 250 shares during the period. 53.88% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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

Shares of Southern Company (NYSE SO) opened at 51.53 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $51.25 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.27 and a beta of 0.11. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $50.32 and a 200 day moving average price of $49.53. Southern Company has a 12-month low of $46.20 and a 12-month high of $54.64.

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

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

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A number of brokerages have recently commented on SO. Zacks Investment Research cut Southern Company (The) from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 25th. Morgan Stanley upped their price target on Southern Company (The) from $50.00 to $51.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a research note on Monday, May 8th. Argus cut Southern Company (The) from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, March 3rd. Barclays PLC reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $55.00 price target on shares of Southern Company (The) in a research note on Monday, May 15th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $56.00 price target on shares of Southern Company (The) in a research note on Wednesday, April 12th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. Southern Company (The) currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $51.79.

In other news, insider Art P. Beattie sold 46,940 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, June 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.50, for a total transaction of $2,417,410.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 59,493 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,063,889.50. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CEO Mark Lantrip sold 25,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, June 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.50, for a total value of $1,287,500.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 31,080 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,600,620. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 145,549 shares of company stock valued at $7,395,190 in the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 1.00% of the company’s stock.

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.

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