Traders purchased shares of Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) on weakness during trading hours on Friday. $246.97 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $34.23 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $212.74 million into the stock. Of all equities tracked, Southern had the 7th highest net in-flow for the day. Southern traded down ($0.21) for the day and closed at $51.31

A number of analysts have recently issued reports on SO shares. Zacks Investment Research cut Southern from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, September 11th. Guggenheim raised Southern from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price objective for the company from $49.00 to $56.00 in a research report on Thursday, September 14th. Mizuho raised Southern from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $53.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, September 5th. SunTrust Banks reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $52.00 target price on shares of Southern in a research note on Friday, October 20th. Finally, KeyCorp reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Southern in a research note on Friday, September 1st. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $49.92.

The company has a market capitalization of $51,706.92, a P/E ratio of 18.74, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.88 and a beta of 0.13. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.73, a current ratio of 0.73 and a quick ratio of 0.57.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st. The utilities provider reported $1.12 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.08 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $6.20 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $6.16 billion. Southern had a return on equity of 10.81% and a net margin of 2.59%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.27 earnings per share. equities analysts forecast that Southern Company will post 2.95 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, December 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, November 20th were paid a dividend of $0.58 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, November 17th. This represents a $2.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.52%. Southern’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 414.29%.

In other Southern news, insider Ann P. Daiss sold 5,080 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, November 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.28, for a total transaction of $270,662.40. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 7,474 shares in the company, valued at approximately $398,214.72. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, VP James Y. Kerr II sold 25,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, October 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.16, for a total value of $1,304,000.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 26,000 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,356,160. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 213,813 shares of company stock worth $11,029,988. Corporate insiders own 1.00% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of SO. FMR LLC increased its stake in shares of Southern by 12.4% in the 1st quarter. FMR LLC now owns 6,107,721 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $304,042,000 after purchasing an additional 675,303 shares during the last quarter. Homrich & Berg increased its stake in shares of Southern by 7.0% in the 1st quarter. Homrich & Berg now owns 77,676 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $3,867,000 after purchasing an additional 5,070 shares during the last quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of Southern by 1.8% in the 1st quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 1,609,069 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $80,099,000 after purchasing an additional 28,250 shares during the last quarter. W.G. Shaheen & Associates DBA Whitney & Co increased its stake in shares of Southern by 2.7% in the 1st quarter. W.G. Shaheen & Associates DBA Whitney & Co now owns 90,145 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $4,487,000 after purchasing an additional 2,345 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Global Financial Private Capital LLC bought a new position in shares of Southern in the 1st quarter valued at $23,597,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 53.78% of the company’s stock.

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Southern Company Profile

The Southern Company (Southern Company) is a holding company. The Company owns all of the stock of the traditional electric operating companies and the parent entities of Southern Power Company (Southern Power) and Southern Company Gas, and owns other direct and indirect subsidiaries. The Company’s segments include Gas distribution operations, Gas marketing services, Wholesale gas services, Gas midstream operations and All other.

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