Investors Sell Shares of Southern (SO) on Strength (SO)

Traders sold shares of Southern Co (NYSE:SO) on strength during trading on Monday. $36.27 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $58.68 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $22.41 million out of the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Southern had the 0th highest net out-flow for the day. Southern traded up $0.64 for the day and closed at $44.22

A number of research firms have recently weighed in on SO. Bank of America upgraded Southern from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $46.00 price target for the company in a report on Wednesday, October 10th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Southern from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $49.00 price target for the company in a report on Tuesday, October 9th. Morgan Stanley decreased their target price on Southern from $45.00 to $44.00 and set a “sell” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, September 21st. ValuEngine lowered Southern from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 9th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group lowered Southern from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating and decreased their target price for the stock from $46.00 to $43.00 in a research note on Thursday, August 9th. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. Southern currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $46.04.

The company has a quick ratio of 0.68, a current ratio of 0.81 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.59. The company has a market capitalization of $44.22 billion, a PE ratio of 14.74, a PEG ratio of 3.26 and a beta of -0.05.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, August 8th. The utilities provider reported $0.80 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.69 by $0.11. Southern had a return on equity of 13.06% and a net margin of 9.96%. The firm had revenue of $5.63 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.28 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.73 EPS. Southern’s revenue was up 3.6% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts anticipate that Southern Co will post 2.97 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, November 19th will be given a $0.60 dividend. This represents a $2.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.39%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, November 16th. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is currently 79.47%.

In other Southern news, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 16,371 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.40, for a total value of $775,985.40. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 10,165 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $481,821. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 0.73% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Kaizen Advisory LLC increased its holdings in shares of Southern by 133.8% in the 2nd quarter. Kaizen Advisory LLC now owns 2,284 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $106,000 after acquiring an additional 1,307 shares during the last quarter. Destination Wealth Management increased its holdings in shares of Southern by 359.3% in the 2nd quarter. Destination Wealth Management now owns 2,315 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $107,000 after acquiring an additional 1,811 shares during the last quarter. Horan Capital Advisors LLC. purchased a new position in shares of Southern in the 2nd quarter valued at about $121,000. Point72 Hong Kong Ltd purchased a new position in shares of Southern in the 2nd quarter valued at about $119,000. Finally, BerganKDV Wealth Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Southern in the 2nd quarter valued at about $130,000. 57.35% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Southern Company Profile (NYSE:SO)

The Southern Company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. The company also constructs, acquires, owns, and manages power generation assets, including renewable energy facilities and sells electricity in the wholesale market; and distributes natural gas in Illinois, Georgia, Virginia, New Jersey, Florida, Tennessee, and Maryland, as well as provides gas marketing services, wholesale gas services, and gas midstream operations.

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