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 companies tracked, Southern had the 0th highest net out-flow for the day. Southern traded up $0.03 for the day and closed at $52.35

Several research firms have commented on SO. Barclays PLC raised Southern from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and raised their price target 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 reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $50.00 price target on shares of Southern in a research report on Monday, July 11th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $54.00 price target on shares of Southern in a research report on Thursday, July 14th. Jefferies Group raised their price target on Southern from $50.00 to $55.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 28th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Southern in a research report on Thursday, April 28th. 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. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $52.32.

The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $53.32 and its 200-day moving average price is $50.63. The company has a market cap of $49.29 billion and a P/E ratio of 20.78.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last issued its 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. The firm earned $4.45 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.54 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.71 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts predict that Southern Co. will post $2.87 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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

In other news, insider Ann P. Daiss sold 7,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.28, for a total value of $365,960.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 9,394 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $491,118.32. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CEO Stan W. Connally sold 14,392 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.75, for a total transaction of $773,570.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 17,716 shares in the company, valued at $952,235. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Home Federal Bank of Tennessee purchased a new stake in shares of Southern during the fourth quarter worth about $1,032,000. Homrich & Berg boosted 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 in the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. boosted its position in Southern by 44.6% in the fourth quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 71,867 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,363,000 after buying an additional 22,183 shares in the last quarter. Gyroscope Capital Management Group LLC boosted its position in Southern by 0.5% in the fourth quarter. Gyroscope Capital Management Group LLC now owns 83,446 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,904,000 after buying an additional 387 shares in the last quarter. Finally, I.G. Investment Management LTD. boosted its position in Southern by 40.9% in the fourth quarter. I.G. Investment Management LTD. now owns 115,139 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,387,000 after buying an additional 33,397 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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