Traders sold shares of Southern Co. (NYSE:SO) on strength during trading hours on Wednesday. $24.92 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $40.39 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $15.47 million out of the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Southern had the 0th highest net out-flow for the day. Southern traded up $0.08 for the day and closed at $51.79

A number of analysts have weighed in on the company. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Southern in a research report on Thursday, August 4th. Argus reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Southern in a research report on Wednesday, June 15th. Zacks Investment Research cut Southern from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 11th. Howard Weil assumed coverage on Southern in a research report on Friday, May 13th. They issued a “sector perform” rating and a $52.00 price target for the company. Finally, Scotiabank reaffirmed a “sector perform” rating and issued a $52.00 price target on shares of Southern in a research report on Saturday, May 14th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $52.32.

The stock’s 50-day moving average is $53.06 and its 200 day moving average is $50.83. The stock has a market cap of $48.77 billion and a PE ratio of 20.56.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $0.74 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.70 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $4.45 billion for 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 last year, the company posted $0.71 EPS. Equities research analysts anticipate that Southern Co. will post $2.86 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company 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. This represents a $2.24 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.33%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, August 11th.

In other Southern news, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 46,008 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.40, for a total transaction of $2,456,827.20. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 56,149 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,998,356.60. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CFO Art P. Beattie sold 123,207 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.12, for a total value of $6,667,962.84. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 75,141 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,066,630.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. 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 worth $5,387,000 after buying an additional 33,397 shares during the period. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA boosted its position in Southern by 88.6% in the fourth quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 360,661 shares of the company’s stock worth $16,875,000 after buying an additional 169,454 shares during the period. American International Group Inc. boosted its position in Southern by 3.3% in the fourth quarter. American International Group Inc. now owns 438,741 shares of the company’s stock worth $20,530,000 after buying an additional 14,133 shares during the period. BlackRock Advisors LLC boosted its position in Southern by 10.0% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Advisors LLC now owns 759,029 shares of the company’s stock worth $35,515,000 after buying an additional 68,964 shares during the period. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its position in Southern by 6.8% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,348,173 shares of the company’s stock worth $63,087,000 after buying an additional 86,034 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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