Southern (SO) Is Today's Unusual Social Activity Stock

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.

Trade-Ideas LLC identified Southern ( SO) as an unusual social activity candidate. In addition to specific proprietary factors, Trade-Ideas identified Southern as such a stock due to the following factors:

  • SO has more that 20x the normal benchmarked social activity for this time of the day compared to its average of 1.61 mentions/day.
  • SO has an average dollar-volume (as measured by average daily share volume multiplied by share price) of $242.8 million.

Identifying stocks with 'Unusual Social Activity' tends to be a valuable process for traders looking to capitalize on the 'talk of the town' stocks that are basking in far more attention from the StockTwits financial community than normal. Good press? Bad press? It ultimately doesn't matter if it's good or bad if you know how to trade around the sentiment. Certain hedge funds use such data for their proprietary algorithms and it is not uncommon to see shared social sentiment play itself out in a stock's price trend.

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More details on SO:

The Southern Company, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a public electric utility company. The stock currently has a dividend yield of 4.2%. SO has a PE ratio of 21.3. Currently there are 2 analysts that rate Southern a buy, 3 analysts rate it a sell, and 8 rate it a hold.

The average volume for Southern has been 5.9 million shares per day over the past 30 days. Southern has a market cap of $44.9 billion and is part of the utilities sector and utilities industry. The stock has a beta of 0.23 and a short float of 4.9% with 6.33 days to cover. Shares are up 21.4% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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

TheStreetRatings.com Analysis:

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates Southern as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • SO's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 5.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 6.4%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Electric Utilities industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, SOUTHERN CO has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $2,617.00 million or 6.20% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, SOUTHERN CO's cash flow growth rate is still lower than the industry average growth rate of 19.48%.
  • 41.39% is the gross profit margin for SOUTHERN CO which we consider to be strong. Regardless of SO's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 13.76% trails the industry average.
  • SOUTHERN CO's earnings per share declined by 17.5% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past two years. However, we anticipate this trend to reverse over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, SOUTHERN CO reported lower earnings of $1.87 versus $2.67 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.80 versus $1.87).

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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