Southern Company (The) (NYSE:SO) saw some unusual options trading activity on Monday. Traders bought 12,897 put options on the company. This is an increase of approximately 3,149% compared to the typical daily volume of 397 put options.

In other Southern news, insider Ann P. Daiss sold 5,080 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.28, for a total transaction of $270,662.40. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 7,474 shares in the company, valued at $398,214.72. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 46,641 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.00, for a total transaction of $2,471,973.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 56,799 shares in the company, valued at $3,010,347. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 213,813 shares of company stock worth $11,029,988 in the last ninety days. 1.00% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC purchased a new position in Southern in the second quarter valued at approximately $100,000. Farmers & Merchants Trust Co of Chambersburg PA purchased a new position in Southern in the third quarter valued at approximately $105,000. IHT Wealth Management LLC increased its stake in Southern by 15.3% in the first quarter. IHT Wealth Management LLC now owns 2,281 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $115,000 after purchasing an additional 302 shares during the last quarter. Monroe Bank & Trust MI increased its stake in Southern by 17.9% in the second quarter. Monroe Bank & Trust MI now owns 2,300 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $110,000 after purchasing an additional 350 shares during the last quarter. Finally, AlphaMark Advisors LLC increased its stake in Southern by 0.6% in 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 during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 53.78% of the company’s stock.

A number of analysts have issued reports on SO shares. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Southern from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, September 11th. Guggenheim upgraded shares of Southern from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their price target for the stock from $49.00 to $56.00 in a research note on Thursday, September 14th. Mizuho upgraded shares of Southern from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $53.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, September 5th. SunTrust Banks restated a “hold” rating and set a $52.00 target price on shares of Southern in a research note on Friday, October 20th. Finally, KeyCorp restated a “hold” rating on shares of Southern in a research note on Friday, September 1st. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $49.72.

Shares of Southern (NYSE SO) opened at $51.06 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.73, a quick ratio of 0.57 and a current ratio of 0.73. Southern has a one year low of $46.71 and a one year high of $53.51. The firm has a market cap of $51,074.63, a P/E ratio of 18.50, a P/E/G ratio of 4.59 and a beta of 0.13.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last released 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. Southern had a net margin of 2.59% and a return on equity of 10.81%. The firm had revenue of $6.20 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $6.16 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.27 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 1.0% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts predict that Southern will post 2.95 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, December 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, November 20th were paid a $0.58 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Friday, November 17th. This represents a $2.32 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.54%. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is currently 414.29%.

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About Southern

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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