Traders sold shares of Southern Co. (NYSE:SO) on strength during trading hours on Friday. $24.25 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $37.32 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $13.07 million out of the stock. Of all equities tracked, Southern had the 24th highest net out-flow for the day. Southern traded up $0.03 for the day and closed at $52.35

Several equities analysts have recently commented on the company. Jefferies Group restated a “hold” rating on shares of Southern in a research report on Thursday, August 4th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. restated a “neutral” rating and issued a $54.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a research report on Thursday, July 14th. Barclays PLC upgraded Southern from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and boosted their price objective for the company from $54.00 to $62.00 in a research report on Thursday, July 14th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Mizuho boosted their price objective on Southern from $50.00 to $52.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 12th. Finally, Argus restated a “buy” rating on shares of Southern in a research report on Wednesday, June 15th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $52.32.

The company has a market cap of $49.31 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.51. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $53.32 and its 200 day moving average price is $50.63.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $0.74 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.70 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $4.45 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.54 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.71 earnings per share. Southern’s revenue was up 2.7% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts predict that Southern Co. will post $2.87 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 6th. Stockholders of record on Monday, August 15th will be given a dividend of $0.56 per share. This represents a $2.24 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.28%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, August 11th.

In related news, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 46,008 shares of Southern stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.40, for a total value of $2,456,827.20. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 56,149 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,998,356.60. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, CEO Stan W. Connally sold 14,392 shares of Southern stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.75, for a total value of $773,570.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 17,716 shares in the company, valued at $952,235. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its stake in Southern by 2.8% in the fourth quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 9,364,719 shares of the company’s stock valued at $438,175,000 after buying an additional 253,648 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its stake in Southern by 6.8% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,348,173 shares of the company’s stock valued at $63,087,000 after buying an additional 86,034 shares during the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its stake in Southern by 3.3% in the fourth quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 1,201,611 shares of the company’s stock valued at $56,223,000 after buying an additional 38,386 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Advisors LLC boosted its stake in Southern by 10.0% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Advisors LLC now owns 759,029 shares of the company’s stock valued at $35,515,000 after buying an additional 68,964 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Morningstar Investment Services LLC boosted its stake 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 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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