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The Southern Company (NYSE:SO) was the recipient of a large growth in short interest during the month of May. As of May 30th, there was short interest totalling 35,586,733 shares, a growth of 5.7% from the May 15th total of 33,654,827 shares, AR Network reports. Based on an average trading volume of 3,521,300 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 10.1 days. Currently, 4.0% of the company’s stock are sold short.

SO has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. Analysts at Deutsche Bank reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of The Southern Company in a research note on Wednesday, April 23rd. They now have a $46.00 price target on the stock. Separately, analysts at Jefferies Group reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of The Southern Company in a research note on Monday, April 21st. They now have a $47.00 price target on the stock. Finally, analysts at RBC Capital downgraded shares of The Southern Company from an “outperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 17th. They now have a $46.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $44.00. They noted that the move was a valuation call. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $44.72.

The Southern Company (NYSE:SO) opened at 44.25 on Monday. The Southern Company has a one year low of $40.03 and a one year high of $46.81. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $43.67 and a 200-day moving average of $42.67. The company has a market cap of $39.418 billion and a P/E ratio of 20.66.

The Southern Company (NYSE:SO) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, April 30th. The company reported $0.66 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the analysts’ consensus estimate of $0.52 by $0.14. The company had revenue of $4.60 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.83 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.49 earnings per share. The Southern Company’s revenue was up 19.2% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts predict that The Southern Company will post $2.79 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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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