Southern Co. (NYSE:SO) was the recipient of a large increase in short interest in November. As of November 15th, there was short interest totalling 20,861,216 shares, an increase of 30.8% from the October 31st total of 15,944,261 shares. Currently, 2.1% of the shares of the stock are sold short. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 7,310,253 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 2.9 days.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Acropolis Investment Management LLC acquired a new stake in Southern during the third quarter worth about $101,000. CWM LLC increased its stake in Southern by 229.9% in the third quarter. CWM LLC now owns 2,039 shares of the company’s stock worth $105,000 after buying an additional 1,421 shares during the last quarter. Krilogy Financial LLC increased its stake in Southern by 87.8% in the second quarter. Krilogy Financial LLC now owns 2,066 shares of the company’s stock worth $111,000 after buying an additional 966 shares during the last quarter. Ledyard National Bank increased its stake in Southern by 112.3% in the third quarter. Ledyard National Bank now owns 2,410 shares of the company’s stock worth $124,000 after buying an additional 1,275 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Loomis Sayles & Co. L P increased its stake in Southern by 447.9% in the second quarter. Loomis Sayles & Co. L P now owns 2,471 shares of the company’s stock worth $133,000 after buying an additional 2,020 shares during the last quarter. 50.49% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Shares of Southern (NYSE:SO) opened at 46.82 on Thursday. The company has a market cap of $45.88 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.58 and a beta of 0.07. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $49.46 and its 200-day moving average is $51.14. Southern has a 52 week low of $43.72 and a 52 week high of $54.64.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last released its earnings results on Monday, October 31st. The company reported $1.28 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.17 by $0.11. Southern had a net margin of 14.14% and a return on equity of 12.69%. The firm had revenue of $6.26 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.41 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.17 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 16.0% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Southern will post $2.90 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, December 6th. Investors of record on Monday, November 21st will be paid a dividend of $0.56 per share. This represents a $2.24 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.78%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 17th. Southern’s payout ratio is 83.27%.

Several equities analysts recently commented on the stock. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Southern in a report on Thursday, August 4th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 26th. Finally, SunTrust Banks Inc. reduced their target price on shares of Southern from $52.00 to $51.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a report on Monday, September 12th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $53.50.

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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 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.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:SO

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