Investors sold shares of Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) on strength during trading hours on Tuesday. $43.14 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $68.01 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $24.87 million out of the stock. Of all companies tracked, Southern had the 0th highest net out-flow for the day. Southern traded up $0.15 for the day and closed at $50.36

A number of research analysts have recently commented on SO shares. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Southern from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, September 11th. Guggenheim raised shares of Southern from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $49.00 to $56.00 in a research report on Thursday, September 14th. Mizuho raised shares of Southern from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $53.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, September 5th. KeyCorp reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Southern in a report on Friday, September 1st. Finally, SunTrust Banks reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $52.00 price target on shares of Southern in a report on Friday, October 20th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $49.72.

The stock has a market cap of $50,540.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.58, a PEG ratio of 4.61 and a beta of 0.13. The company has a current ratio of 0.73, a quick ratio of 0.57 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.73.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The utilities provider reported $1.12 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.08 by $0.04. Southern had a net margin of 2.59% and a return on equity of 10.81%. The firm had revenue of $6.20 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $6.16 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.27 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 1.0% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts forecast that Southern Company will post 2.95 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, December 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, November 20th will be paid a dividend of $0.58 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 17th. This represents a $2.32 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.61%. Southern’s payout ratio is 414.29%.

In other Southern news, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 46,641 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.00, for a total transaction of $2,471,973.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 56,799 shares in the company, valued at $3,010,347. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CEO William P. Bowers sold 85,151 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, October 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.00, for a total transaction of $4,257,550.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 213,813 shares of company stock valued at $11,029,988. 0.74% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. OppenheimerFunds Inc. grew its position in shares of Southern by 31.3% during the first quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 512,062 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $25,490,000 after acquiring an additional 122,207 shares during the last quarter. TLP Group LLC bought a new position in shares of Southern during the first quarter worth about $368,000. Principal Financial Group Inc. grew its position in shares of Southern by 2.2% during the first quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 1,397,908 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $69,588,000 after acquiring an additional 29,858 shares during the last quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP grew its position in shares of Southern by 34.2% during the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 795,727 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $39,612,000 after acquiring an additional 202,787 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Stratos Wealth Partners LTD. grew its position in shares of Southern by 19.6% during the first quarter. Stratos Wealth Partners LTD. now owns 47,777 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,378,000 after acquiring an additional 7,843 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 53.78% of the company’s stock.

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Southern 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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