Traders Buy Shares of Southern (SO) on Weakness

Traders purchased shares of Southern Co (NYSE:SO) on weakness during trading hours on Tuesday. $103.58 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $45.89 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $57.69 million into the stock. Of all companies tracked, Southern had the 25th highest net in-flow for the day. Southern traded down ($0.46) for the day and closed at $43.47

A number of equities research analysts have issued reports on SO shares. Zacks Investment Research raised Southern from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, November 3rd. Mizuho reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $55.00 price target on shares of Southern in a research report on Friday, December 8th. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Southern in a research report on Friday, December 22nd. SunTrust Banks reissued a “hold” rating and set a $50.00 target price on shares of Southern in a research report on Tuesday, December 26th. Finally, Guggenheim reissued a “buy” rating and set a $52.00 target price on shares of Southern in a research report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Six analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company. Southern currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $50.03.

The company has a quick ratio of 0.57, a current ratio of 0.73 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.73. The company has a market cap of $43,627.71, a PE ratio of 15.81, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.22 and a beta of 0.03.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 21st. The utilities provider reported $0.51 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.46 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $5.63 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.17 billion. Southern had a return on equity of 10.81% and a net margin of 2.59%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 8.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.24 EPS. research analysts expect that Southern Co will post 2.96 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, March 6th. Investors of record on Tuesday, February 20th will be paid a dividend of $0.58 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, February 16th. This represents a $2.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 5.41%. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is presently 414.29%.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Taylor Hoffman Wealth Management purchased a new position in Southern during the 4th quarter worth approximately $104,000. Farmers & Merchants Trust Co of Chambersburg PA purchased a new position in Southern during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $105,000. We Are One Seven LLC purchased a new position in Southern during the 4th quarter worth approximately $106,000. Fieldpoint Private Securities LLC purchased a new position in Southern during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $118,000. Finally, Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. grew its stake in Southern by 152.6% during the 2nd quarter. Thompson Davis & CO. Inc. now owns 2,791 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $134,000 after buying an additional 1,686 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 53.87% 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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