Shares of Southern Co. (NYSE:SO) fell 1.2% on Tuesday . The stock traded as low as $53.00 and last traded at $53.13, with a volume of 3,171,437 shares. The stock had previously closed at $53.79.

Several research firms have recently weighed in on SO. Argus reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Southern in a report on Wednesday, June 15th. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Southern in a report on Thursday, April 28th. SunTrust Banks Inc. dropped their price objective on shares of Southern from $52.00 to $51.00 in a report on Tuesday, April 12th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Southern from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 11th. Finally, Howard Weil began coverage on shares of Southern in a report on Friday, May 13th. They set a “sector perform” rating and a $52.00 price objective for the company. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $50.55.

The firm has a market cap of $48.52 billion and a PE ratio of 20.65. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $51.30 and its 200 day moving average price is $49.67.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, April 27th. The company reported $0.58 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.53 by $0.05. The business earned $3.97 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.25 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.56 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 5.2% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts predict that Southern Co. will post $2.85 EPS for the current year.

In other news, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 182,225 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, April 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.77, for a total transaction of $9,069,338.25. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 200,680 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $9,987,843.60. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Mark Lantrip sold 35,884 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, July 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.00, for a total transaction of $1,937,736.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 41,934 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,264,436. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of SO. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Southern by 2.5% in the fourth quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 54,686,446 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,558,779,000 after buying an additional 1,325,479 shares during the period. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its stake in shares of Southern by 2.8% in the fourth quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 9,364,719 shares of the company’s stock worth $438,175,000 after buying an additional 253,648 shares during the period. Morgan Stanley increased its stake in shares of Southern by 8.1% in the fourth quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 3,452,709 shares of the company’s stock worth $161,555,000 after buying an additional 259,589 shares during the period. TD Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Southern by 11.4% in the fourth quarter. TD Asset Management Inc. now owns 1,774,742 shares of the company’s stock worth $83,040,000 after buying an additional 181,217 shares during the period. Finally, Mizuho Trust & Banking Co. Ltd. increased its stake in shares of Southern by 0.7% in the fourth quarter. Mizuho Trust & Banking Co. Ltd. now owns 1,383,202 shares of the company’s stock worth $65,384,000 after buying an additional 9,150 shares during the period.

The Southern Company (Southern Company) is a holding company. The Company owns all of the stock of the traditional operating companies and Southern Power Company (Southern Power), and owns other direct and indirect subsidiaries. Southern Company’s segments include the sale of electricity by four traditional operating companies, Southern Power and All Other.

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