Investors sold shares of Southern Co. (NYSE:SO) on strength during trading hours on Tuesday. $26.15 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $71.86 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $45.71 million out of the stock. Of all equities tracked, Southern had the 0th highest net out-flow for the day. Southern traded up $0.15 for the day and closed at $52.84

A number of analysts have recently issued reports on the stock. Argus reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Southern in a report on Wednesday, June 15th. Jefferies Group reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Southern in a report on Thursday, August 4th. SunTrust Banks Inc. lowered their price objective on shares of Southern from $52.00 to $51.00 in a report on Tuesday, April 12th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Southern from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 11th. Finally, Howard Weil initiated coverage on shares of Southern in a report on Friday, May 13th. They set 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 assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $52.32.

The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $53.18 and its 200 day moving average price is $50.57. The firm has a market capitalization of $49.78 billion and a P/E ratio of 20.70.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $0.74 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.70 by $0.04. The firm earned $4.45 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.54 billion. Southern’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.71 earnings per share. Equities analysts forecast that Southern Co. will post $2.87 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 6th. Investors of record on Monday, August 15th will be issued a $0.56 dividend. This represents a $2.24 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.24%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, August 11th.

In related news, CEO Stan W. Connally sold 14,392 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.75, for a total value of $773,570.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 17,716 shares in the company, valued at approximately $952,235. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CFO Art P. Beattie sold 62,587 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, June 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.00, for a total value of $3,254,524.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 75,140 shares in the company, valued at $3,907,280. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Bragg Financial Advisors Inc boosted its position in shares of Southern by 4.3% in the fourth quarter. Bragg Financial Advisors Inc now owns 117,566 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,501,000 after buying an additional 4,883 shares in the last quarter. Advantus Capital Management Inc boosted its position in shares of Southern by 2.1% in the fourth quarter. Advantus Capital Management Inc now owns 86,913 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,067,000 after buying an additional 1,819 shares in the last quarter. Smith Salley & Associates boosted its position in shares of Southern by 2.2% in the fourth quarter. Smith Salley & Associates now owns 35,685 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,669,000 after buying an additional 764 shares in the last quarter. QCI Asset Management Inc. NY boosted its position in shares of Southern by 5.1% in the fourth quarter. QCI Asset Management Inc. NY now owns 258,376 shares of the company’s stock worth $12,089,000 after buying an additional 12,439 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Alerus Investment Advisors Corp boosted its position in shares of Southern by 17.2% in the fourth quarter. Alerus Investment Advisors Corp now owns 24,697 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,156,000 after buying an additional 3,623 shares in the last quarter.

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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