Southern Co (SO): Today's Featured Utilities Laggard

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

Southern ( SO) pushed the Utilities sector lower today making it today's featured Utilities laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.8%. By the end of trading, Southern fell $0.52 (-1.2%) to $41.78 on average volume. Throughout the day, 5,350,525 shares of Southern exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4,317,300 shares. The stock ranged in price between $41.71-$42.38 after having opened the day at $42.30 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $42.30. Other companies within the Utilities sector that declined today were: Beacon Power ( BCON), down 8.3%, Just Energy Group ( JE), down 4.4%, Energy Company of Parana ( ELP), down 3.8% and FirstEnergy ( FE), down 3.3%.

The Southern Company, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a public electric utility company. Southern has a market cap of $36.0 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 0.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there is 1 analyst that rates Southern a buy, 2 analysts rate it a sell, and 12 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Southern as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself.

On the positive front, Transportadora de Gas del Sur ( TGS), up 3.9%, American Midstream Partners ( AMID), up 3.3%, Empresa Distribuidora y Comercializadora No ( EDN), up 3.3% and Delta Natural Gas Company ( DGAS), up 2.9%.

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).

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12-months. Learn more.

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