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The Southern Company (NYSE:SO) was downgraded by RBC Capital from an “outperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating in a research note issued on Thursday, TheFlyOnTheWall.com reports. They currently have a $46.00 target price on the stock, up from their previous target price of $44.00. RBC Capital’s price target suggests a potential upside of 2.84% from the company’s current price. The analysts noted that the move was a valuation call.

The Southern Company (NYSE:SO) traded down 1.16% on Thursday, hitting $45.29. 2,475,306 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The Southern Company has a 52 week low of $40.03 and a 52 week high of $48.74. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $43.28 and a 200-day moving average of $41.81. The company has a market cap of $40.215 billion and a P/E ratio of 24.50. The Southern Company also was the recipient of a significant increase in short interest in the month of January. As of March 31st, there was short interest totalling 34,146,682 shares, an increase of 7.5% from the March 14th total of 31,775,755 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 4,464,784 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 7.6 days. Currently, 3.8% of the shares of the stock are sold short.

The Southern Company (NYSE:SO) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, January 29th. The company reported $0.48 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $0.46 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $3.93 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.87 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.44 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 6.0% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that The Southern Company will post $2.76 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Several other analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Analysts at Zacks reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of The Southern Company in a research note on Friday, April 11th. They now have a $47.00 price target on the stock. Separately, analysts at TheStreet upgraded shares of The Southern Company from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 8th. Finally, analysts at Bank of America reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of The Southern Company in a research note on Tuesday, March 11th. They now have a $43.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $42.00. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $44.41.

In other The Southern Company news, Insider Ann Daiss sold 8,464 shares of The Southern Company stock on the open market in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.00, for a total transaction of $372,416.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 2,436 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $107,184. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link.

The Southern Company (NYSE:SO)is a holding company, which owns all of the common stock of the traditional operating companies, including Alabama Power Company (Alabama Power), Georgia Power Company (Georgia Power), Gulf Power Company (Gulf Power), and Mississippi Power Company (Mississippi Power) ,and Southern Power Company (Southern Power), and other direct and indirect subsidiaries (together, the Southern Company system).

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