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Southern

(

SO

) pushed the Utilities sector lower today making it today's featured Utilities loser. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.7%. By the end of trading, Southern fell 30 cents (-0.6%) to $46.25 on average volume. Throughout the day, 3.7 million shares of Southern exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.2 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $46.13-$46.46 after having opened the day at $46.36 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $46.55. Other company's within the Utilities sector that declined today were:

American DG Energy

(

ADGE

), down 17.1%,

GreenHunter Energy

(

GRH

), down 6.3%,

Active Power

(

ACPW

), down 5.2%, and

TheStreet Recommends

Transportadora de Gas del Sur

(

TGS

), down 5.1%.

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The Southern Company operates as an electric utility company. It is involved in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity through coal, nuclear, oil and gas, and hydro resources. Southern has a market cap of $40.36 billion and is part of the

utilities

industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.6, below the average utilities industry P/E ratio of 18.8 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 0.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there is one analyst that rates Southern a buy, two analysts rate it a sell, and 13 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Southern as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

On the positive front,

Ocean Power Technologies

(

OPTT

), up 7%,

Dynegy

(

DYN

), up 3.9%,

El Paso Electric Company

(

EE

), up 1.8%, and

Niska Gas Storage Partners

(

NKA

), up 1.7%, were all gainers within the utilities sector with

GenOn Energy

(

GEN

) being today's featured utilities sector winner.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the utilities sector could consider

Utilities Select Sector SPDR

(

XLU

) while those bearish on the utilities sector could consider

ProShares UltraShort Utilities

(

SDP

).

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