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How to buy The Southern Company stock | 58.35

Own The Southern Company stock in just a few minutes.

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The Southern Company is an utilities—regulated electric business based in the US. The Southern Company shares (SO) are listed on the NYSE and all prices are listed in US Dollars. The Southern Company employs 27,943 staff and has a trailing 12-month revenue of around USD$20.5 billion.

How to buy shares in The Southern Company

  1. Compare share trading platforms. If you're a beginner, look for a platform with low commissions, expert ratings and investment tools to track your portfolio. Narrow down top brands with our comparison table.
  2. Open and fund your brokerage account. Complete an application with your personal and financial details, like your ID and bank information. Fund your account with a bank transfer, credit card or debit card.
  3. Search for The Southern Company. Find the stock by name or ticker symbol: SO. Research its history to confirm it's a solid investment against your financial goals.
  4. Purchase now or later. Buy today with a market order or use a limit order to delay your purchase until The Southern Company reaches your desired price. To spread out your purchase, look into dollar-cost averaging, which smooths out buying at consistent intervals and amounts.
  5. Decide on how many to buy. At last close price of USD$58.35, weigh your budget against a diversified portfolio that can minimize risk through the market's ups and downs. You may be able to buy a fractional share of The Southern Company, depending on your broker.
  6. Check in on your investment. Congratulations, you own a part of The Southern Company. Optimize your portfolio by tracking how your stock — and even the business — performs with an eye on the long term. You may be eligible for dividends and shareholder voting rights on directors and management that can affect your stock.

How has coronavirus impacted The Southern Company's share price?

Since the stock market crash in March caused by coronavirus, The Southern Company's share price has had significant negative movement.

Its last market close was USD$58.35, which is 15.42% down on its pre-crash value of USD$68.99 and 39.06% up on the lowest point reached during the March crash when the shares fell as low as USD$41.96.

If you had bought USD$1,000 worth of The Southern Company shares at the start of February 2020, those shares would have been worth USD$611.27 at the bottom of the March crash, and if you held on to them, then as of the last market close they'd be worth USD$825.07.

The Southern Company share price

Use our graph to track the performance of SO stocks over time.

The Southern Company shares at a glance

Information last updated 2020-10-20.
Latest market close USD$58.35
52-week range USD$41.96 - USD$71.1
50-day moving average USD$54.7003
200-day moving average USD$54.8615
Wall St. target price USD$59.73
PE ratio 19.023
Dividend yield USD$2.56 (4.41%)
Earnings per share (TTM) USD$3.055

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The value of any investment can go up or down depending on news, trends and market conditions. We are not investment advisers, so do your own due diligence to understand the risks before you invest.

Is it a good time to buy The Southern Company stock?

The technical analysis gauge below displays real-time ratings for the timeframes you select. This is not a recommendation, however. It represents a technical analysis based on the most popular technical indicators: Moving Averages, Oscillators and Pivots. Finder might not concur and takes no responsibility.

This chart is not advice or a guarantee of success. Rather, it gauges the real-time recommendations of three popular technical indicators: moving averages, oscillators and pivots. Finder is not responsible for how your stock performs.

The Southern Company price performance over time

Historical closes compared with the close of $58.35 from 2020-10-16

1 week (2020-11-16) N/A
1 month (2020-10-27) -3.09%
3 months (2020-08-27) 11.78%
6 months (2020-05-23) N/A
1 year (2019-11-23) N/A
2 years (2018-11-23) N/A
3 years (2017-11-23) N/A
5 years (2015-11-23) N/A

Is The Southern Company under- or over-valued?

Valuing The Southern Company stock is incredibly difficult, and any metric has to be viewed as part of a bigger picture of The Southern Company's overall performance. However, analysts commonly use some key metrics to help gauge the value of a stock.

The Southern Company's P/E ratio

The Southern Company's current share price divided by its per-share earnings (EPS) over a 12-month period gives a "trailing price/earnings ratio" of roughly 19x. In other words, The Southern Company shares trade at around 19x recent earnings.

That's relatively low compared to, say, the trailing 12-month P/E ratio for the NASDAQ 100 at the end of 2019 (27.29). The low P/E ratio could mean that investors are pessimistic about the outlook for the shares or simply that they're under-valued.

The Southern Company's PEG ratio

The Southern Company's "price/earnings-to-growth ratio" can be calculated by dividing its P/E ratio by its growth – to give 3.597. A low ratio can be interpreted as meaning the shares offer better value, while a higher ratio can be interpreted as meaning the shares offer worse value.

The PEG ratio provides a broader view than just the P/E ratio, as it gives more insight into The Southern Company's future profitability. By accounting for growth, it could also help you if you're comparing the share prices of multiple high-growth companies.

The Southern Company's EBITDA

The Southern Company's EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) is USD$9 billion.

The EBITDA is a measure of a The Southern Company's overall financial performance and is widely used to measure a its profitability.

The Southern Company financials

Revenue TTM USD$20.5 billion
Operating margin TTM 26.28%
Gross profit TTM USD$9.6 billion
Return on assets TTM 2.88%
Return on equity TTM 10.05%
Profit margin 15.75%
Book value $26.199
Market capitalisation USD$61.3 billion

TTM: trailing 12 months

Shorting The Southern Company shares

There are currently 9.8 million The Southern Company shares held short by investors – that's known as The Southern Company's "short interest". This figure is 11.3% down from 11.1 million last month.

There are a few different ways that this level of interest in shorting The Southern Company shares can be evaluated.

The Southern Company's "short interest ratio" (SIR)

The Southern Company's "short interest ratio" (SIR) is the quantity of The Southern Company shares currently shorted divided by the average quantity of The Southern Company shares traded daily (recently around 4.1 million). The Southern Company's SIR currently stands at 2.39. In other words for every 100,000 The Southern Company shares traded daily on the market, roughly 2390 shares are currently held short.

However The Southern Company's short interest can also be evaluated against the total number of The Southern Company shares, or, against the total number of tradable The Southern Company shares (the shares that aren't held by "insiders" or major long-term shareholders – also known as the "float"). In this case The Southern Company's short interest could be expressed as 0.01% of the outstanding shares (for every 100,000 The Southern Company shares in existence, roughly 10 shares are currently held short) or 0.0093% of the tradable shares (for every 100,000 tradable The Southern Company shares, roughly 9 shares are currently held short).

Such a low SIR usually points to an optimistic outlook for the share price, with fewer people currently willing to bet against The Southern Company.

Find out more about how you can short The Southern Company stock.

The Southern Company's environmental, social and governance track record

Environmental, social and governance (known as ESG) criteria are a set of three factors used to measure the sustainability and social impact of companies like The Southern Company.

When it comes to ESG scores, lower is better, and lower scores are generally associated with lower risk for would-be investors.

The Southern Company's total ESG risk score

Total ESG risk: 30.08

Socially conscious investors use ESG scores to screen how an investment aligns with their worldview, and The Southern Company's overall score of 30.08 (as at 10/01/2020) is pretty weak – landing it in it in the 64th percentile of companies rated in the same sector.

ESG scores are increasingly used to estimate the level of risk a company like The Southern Company is exposed to within the areas of "environmental" (carbon footprint, resource use etc.), "social" (health and safety, human rights etc.), and "governance" (anti-corruption, tax transparency etc.).

The Southern Company's environmental score

Environmental score: 12.26/100

The Southern Company's environmental score of 12.26 puts it squarely in the 2nd percentile of companies rated in the same sector. This could suggest that The Southern Company is a leader in its sector terms of its environmental impact, and exposed to a lower level of risk.

The Southern Company's social score

Social score: 11.85/100

The Southern Company's social score of 11.85 puts it squarely in the 2nd percentile of companies rated in the same sector. This could suggest that The Southern Company is a leader in its sector when it comes to taking good care of its workforce and the communities it impacts.

The Southern Company's governance score

Governance score: 4.97/100

The Southern Company's governance score puts it squarely in the 2nd percentile of companies rated in the same sector. That could suggest that The Southern Company is a leader in its sector when it comes to responsible management and strategy, and exposed to a lower level of risk.

The Southern Company's controversy score

Controversy score: 2/5

ESG scores also evaluate any incidences of controversy that a company has been involved in. The Southern Company scored a 2 out of 5 for controversy – the second-highest score possible, reflecting that The Southern Company has, for the most part, managed to keep its nose clean.

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) summary

The Southern Company was last rated for ESG on: 2020-10-01.

Total ESG score 30.08
Total ESG percentile 63.54
Environmental score 12.26
Environmental score percentile 2
Social score 11.85
Social score percentile 2
Governance score 4.97
Governance score percentile 2
Level of controversy 2

The Southern Company share dividends

80%

Dividend payout ratio: 79.5% of net profits

Recently The Southern Company has paid out, on average, around 79.5% of net profits as dividends. That has enabled analysts to estimate a "forward annual dividend yield" of 4.41% of the current stock value. This means that over a year, based on recent payouts (which are sadly no guarantee of future payouts), The Southern Company shareholders could enjoy a 4.41% return on their shares, in the form of dividend payments. In The Southern Company's case, that would currently equate to about $2.56 per share.

The Southern Company's payout ratio would broadly be considered high, and as such this stock could appeal to those looking to generate an income. Bear in mind however that companies should normally also look to re-invest a decent amount of net profits to ensure future growth.

The Southern Company's most recent dividend payout was on 8 September 2020. The latest dividend was paid out to all shareholders who bought their shares by 14 August 2020 (the "ex-dividend date").

Have The Southern Company's shares ever split?

The Southern Company's shares were split on a 10000:6109 basis on 3 April 2001. So if you had owned 6109 shares the day before before the split, the next day you'd have owned 10000 shares. This wouldn't directly have changed the overall worth of your The Southern Company shares – just the quantity. However, indirectly, the new 38.9% lower share price could have impacted the market appetite for The Southern Company shares which in turn could have impacted The Southern Company's share price.

The Southern Company share price volatility

Over the last 12 months, The Southern Company's shares have ranged in value from as little as $41.96 up to $71.1. A popular way to gauge a stock's volatility is its "beta".

Beta is a measure of a share's volatility in relation to the market. The market (NYSE average) beta is 1, while The Southern Company's is 0.3822. This would suggest that The Southern Company's shares are less volatile than average (for this exchange).

The Southern Company overview

The Southern Company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. It operates in four segments: Gas Distribution Operations, Gas Pipeline Investments, Wholesale Gas Services, and Gas Marketing Services. The company also constructs, acquires, owns, and manages power generation assets, including renewable energy facilities and sells electricity in the wholesale market; and distributes natural gas in Illinois, Georgia, Virginia, and Tennessee, as well as provides gas marketing services, wholesale gas services, and gas pipeline investments operations. It owns and/or operates 30 hydroelectric generating stations, 24 fossil fuel generating stations, 3 nuclear generating stations, 13 combined cycle/cogeneration stations, 42 solar facilities, 10 wind facilities, and 1 biomass facility; and constructs, operates, and maintains 75,585 miles of natural gas pipelines and 14 storage facilities with total capacity of 157 Bcf to provide natural gas to residential, commercial, and industrial customers. The company serves approximately 8 million electric and gas utility customers. It also provides products and services in the areas of energy efficiency, and utility infrastructure. In addition, the company offers digital wireless communications services with various communication options, including push to talk, cellular service, text messaging, wireless Internet access, and wireless data. The Southern Company was incorporated in 1945 and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.

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