Magellan Asset Management Ltd boosted its stake in shares of Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) by 14.6% in the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 373,029 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after buying an additional 47,578 shares during the period. Magellan Asset Management Ltd’s holdings in Southern Company (The) were worth $17,861,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in Southern Company (The) by 4.1% during the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 68,758,138 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,422,780,000 after buying an additional 2,688,854 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in Southern Company (The) by 2,961.9% during the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 62,067,822 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,089,736,000 after buying an additional 60,040,696 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp increased its position in Southern Company (The) by 1.1% during the 1st quarter. State Street Corp now owns 48,900,251 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,434,244,000 after buying an additional 515,397 shares in the last quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. increased its position in Southern Company (The) by 3.6% during the 2nd quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 22,379,839 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,071,547,000 after buying an additional 770,413 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC increased its position in Southern Company (The) by 8.2% during the 1st quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 9,573,271 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $475,877,000 after buying an additional 724,650 shares in the last quarter. 53.14% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

A number of research analysts recently weighed in on SO shares. Barclays PLC reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $54.00 price objective on shares of Southern Company (The) in a research report on Tuesday, July 25th. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $55.00 target price on shares of Southern Company (The) in a report on Wednesday, July 19th. Deutsche Bank AG raised Southern Company (The) from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their target price for the stock from $50.00 to $52.00 in a report on Tuesday, August 1st. Mizuho raised Southern Company (The) from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $53.00 target price for the company in a report on Tuesday, September 5th. Finally, Guggenheim raised Southern Company (The) from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and lifted their target price for the stock from $49.00 to $56.00 in a report on Thursday, September 14th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $49.72.

In related news, insider Art P. Beattie sold 46,941 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, October 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.50, for a total value of $2,464,402.50. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 59,494 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,123,435. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Ann P. Daiss sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, October 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.28, for a total value of $261,400.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 7,394 shares in the company, valued at $386,558.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 237,236 shares of company stock worth $11,991,200. 0.74% of the stock is owned by insiders.

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Southern Company (SO) opened at 52.20 on Wednesday. Southern Company has a 1-year low of $46.20 and a 1-year high of $52.59. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $50.36 and a 200-day moving average price of $49.53. The stock has a market capitalization of $52.17 billion, a P/E ratio of 85.86 and a beta of 0.13.

Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.73 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.71 by $0.02. Southern Company (The) had a return on equity of 11.30% and a net margin of 2.93%. 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 was up 21.7% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts expect that Southern Company will post $2.94 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, December 6th. Investors of record on Monday, November 20th will be given a $0.58 dividend. This represents a $2.32 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.44%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 17th. Southern Company (The)’s payout ratio is 346.27%.

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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