Carroll Financial Associates Inc. trimmed its stake in Southern Co (NYSE:SO) by 6.4% in the fourth quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 25,035 shares of the utilities provider’s stock after selling 1,718 shares during the quarter. Carroll Financial Associates Inc.’s holdings in Southern were worth $1,116,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Cognios Capital LLC increased its stake in Southern by 8.1% in the second quarter. Cognios Capital LLC now owns 48,864 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,261,000 after purchasing an additional 3,672 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in Southern by 1.3% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,780,758 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $82,468,000 after purchasing an additional 22,103 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC increased its stake in Southern by 7.2% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 6,720,611 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $311,231,000 after purchasing an additional 451,664 shares during the last quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. increased its stake in Southern by 13.2% in the second quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 697,003 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $32,278,000 after purchasing an additional 81,489 shares during the last quarter. Finally, First Republic Investment Management Inc. increased its stake in Southern by 65.8% in the second quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. now owns 69,850 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,235,000 after purchasing an additional 27,725 shares during the last quarter. 56.52% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

In other news, CEO Kimberly S. Greene sold 15,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.03, for a total value of $705,450.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 9,380 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $441,141.40. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, insider Mark Lantrip sold 9,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, December 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.58, for a total value of $428,220.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.73% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

SO stock opened at $46.61 on Friday. Southern Co has a 12-month low of $42.38 and a 12-month high of $49.43. The company has a quick ratio of 0.58, a current ratio of 0.72 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.48. The stock has a market cap of $46.80 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.43, a PEG ratio of 3.36 and a beta of 0.07.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 7th. The utilities provider reported $1.14 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.07 by $0.07. Southern had a return on equity of 12.88% and a net margin of 10.35%. The firm had revenue of $6.70 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $6.68 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.12 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 8.0% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, research analysts anticipate that Southern Co will post 3.03 earnings per share for the current year.

Several equities analysts recently commented on the company. Zacks Investment Research lowered Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday. SunTrust Banks reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $47.00 target price on shares of Southern in a research note on Monday, January 7th. Guggenheim reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $44.00 target price on shares of Southern in a research note on Monday, January 7th. Mizuho reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $46.00 target price on shares of Southern in a research note on Tuesday, December 11th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group upped their target price on Southern from $44.00 to $46.00 and gave the company an “underperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, December 6th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and eleven have given a hold rating to the company’s stock. Southern currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $46.07.

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About Southern

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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