NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) --

Southern Company

(NYSE:

SO

) hit a new 52-week high Thursday as it is currently trading at $40.72, above its previous 52-week high of $40.70 with 2.1 million shares traded as of 2:02 p.m. ET. Average volume has been 3.9 million shares over the past 30 days.

Southern has a market cap of $34.5 billion and is part of the

utilities

sector and

utilities

industry. Shares are up 5.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

Southern Company, through its subsidiaries, operates as a utility company that provides electric service in the southeastern United States. The company generates, transmits, and distributes electricity through coal, nuclear, oil and gas, and hydro resources. The company has a P/E ratio of 17.9, below the average utilities industry P/E ratio of 18.1 and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Southern as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. You can view the full

Southern Ratings Report

.

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