Investors purchased shares of Southern Co. (NYSE:SO) on weakness during trading hours on Friday. $49.03 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $35.44 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $13.59 million into the stock. Of all companies tracked, Southern had the 24th highest net in-flow for the day. Southern traded down ($0.52) for the day and closed at $52.64

A number of research firms recently weighed in on SO. Argus restated a “buy” rating on shares of Southern in a research report on Wednesday, June 15th. Jefferies Group restated a “hold” rating on shares of Southern in a research report on Thursday. SunTrust Banks Inc. lowered their price target on shares of Southern from $52.00 to $51.00 in a research 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 assumed coverage on shares of Southern in a report on Friday, May 13th. They issued a “sector perform” rating and a $52.00 target price on the stock. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. Southern has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $52.32.

The company has a market cap of $49.59 billion and a PE ratio of 20.62. The company has a 50-day moving average of $53.08 and a 200 day moving average of $50.44.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $0.74 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.70 by $0.04. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.71 EPS. The company earned $4.45 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.54 billion. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.7% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts anticipate that Southern Co. will post $2.87 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, August 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.56 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, August 11th. This represents a $2.24 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.26%.

In other Southern news, CFO Art P. Beattie sold 123,207 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.12, for a total transaction of $6,667,962.84. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 75,141 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,066,630.92. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Mark Lantrip sold 35,884 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.00, for a total transaction of $1,937,736.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 41,934 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,264,436. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other institutional investors have bought and sold shares of the company. Home Federal Bank of Tennessee acquired a new position in Southern during the fourth quarter valued at $1,032,000. Suntrust Banks Inc. increased its position in Southern by 0.3% in the fourth quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 614,533 shares of the company’s stock valued at $28,752,000 after buying an additional 1,596 shares during the period. Morningstar Investment Services LLC increased its position in Southern by 7.2% in the fourth quarter. Morningstar Investment Services LLC now owns 691,509 shares of the company’s stock valued at $32,356,000 after buying an additional 46,235 shares during the period. QCI Asset Management Inc. NY increased its position in Southern by 5.1% in the fourth quarter. QCI Asset Management Inc. NY now owns 258,376 shares of the company’s stock valued at $12,089,000 after buying an additional 12,439 shares during the period. Finally, Homrich & Berg increased its position in Southern by 4.0% in the fourth quarter. Homrich & Berg now owns 64,526 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,019,000 after buying an additional 2,471 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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