Investors sold shares of Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) on strength during trading on Wednesday. $31.04 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $79.69 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $48.65 million out of the stock. Of all equities tracked, Southern Company (The) had the 12th highest net out-flow for the day. Southern Company (The) traded up $0.31 for the day and closed at $49.10

SO has been the topic of several analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Southern Company (The) from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, September 11th. BidaskClub cut shares of Southern Company (The) from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Saturday, June 24th. Macquarie upgraded shares of Southern Company (The) from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $52.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Monday, July 10th. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $56.00 price target (up previously from $55.00) on shares of Southern Company (The) in a research note on Tuesday, September 12th. Finally, Morgan Stanley lowered their target price on shares of Southern Company (The) from $53.00 to $51.00 and set an “underweight” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, June 23rd. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $48.90.

The stock has a market cap of $49.07 billion, a P/E ratio of 80.76 and a beta of 0.13. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $49.01 and its 200-day moving average price is $49.37.

Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The utilities provider reported $0.73 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.71 by $0.02. Southern Company (The) had a net margin of 2.93% and a return on equity of 11.30%. The firm had revenue of $5.43 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.23 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.74 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 21.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts expect that Southern Company will post $2.95 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, September 6th. Investors of record on Monday, August 21st were issued a dividend of $0.58 per share. This represents a $2.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.73%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, August 17th. Southern Company (The)’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 346.27%.

In related news, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 75,144 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.29, for a total transaction of $3,703,847.76. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 85,298 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,204,338.42. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Corporate insiders own 0.74% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Bartlett & Co. LLC lifted its holdings in Southern Company (The) by 0.3% during the second quarter. Bartlett & Co. LLC now owns 4,813 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $230,000 after purchasing an additional 14 shares in the last quarter. AlphaMark Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in Southern Company (The) by 0.6% during the second quarter. AlphaMark Advisors LLC now owns 2,363 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $113,000 after purchasing an additional 14 shares in the last quarter. South Texas Money Management Ltd. lifted its holdings in Southern Company (The) by 0.3% during the second quarter. South Texas Money Management Ltd. now owns 7,084 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $339,000 after purchasing an additional 19 shares in the last quarter. WMS Partners LLC lifted its holdings in Southern Company (The) by 0.6% during the second quarter. WMS Partners LLC now owns 4,387 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $210,000 after purchasing an additional 25 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Regal Investment Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in Southern Company (The) by 0.4% during the first quarter. Regal Investment Advisors LLC now owns 7,990 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $398,000 after purchasing an additional 29 shares in the last quarter. 53.28% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Southern Company (The)

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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