Zacks: Brokerages Expect Southern Co (NYSE:SO) Will Post Earnings of $1.13 Per Share

Equities analysts forecast that Southern Co (NYSE:SO) will announce earnings per share (EPS) of $1.13 for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks reports. Two analysts have provided estimates for Southern’s earnings, with estimates ranging from $1.10 to $1.18. Southern reported earnings of $1.14 per share during the same quarter last year, which would indicate a negative year-over-year growth rate of 0.9%. The firm is scheduled to announce its next earnings report on Wednesday, November 6th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Southern will report full year earnings of $3.02 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $2.96 to $3.06. For the next year, analysts forecast that the firm will report earnings of $3.16 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $3.10 to $3.22. Zacks’ earnings per share averages are a mean average based on a survey of analysts that cover Southern.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 31st. The utilities provider reported $0.80 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.72 by $0.08. The company had revenue of $5.10 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.12 billion. Southern had a net margin of 20.18% and a return on equity of 10.04%. Southern’s quarterly revenue was down 9.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.80 earnings per share.

A number of equities research analysts have weighed in on SO shares. Mizuho upped their price objective on shares of Southern from $48.50 to $55.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, June 13th. Evercore ISI upgraded shares of Southern from an “in-line” rating to an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, May 3rd. ValuEngine cut shares of Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 6th. Barclays restated a “hold” rating and issued a $57.00 price objective on shares of Southern in a report on Wednesday, June 19th. Finally, KeyCorp started coverage on shares of Southern in a report on Tuesday, June 4th. They issued a “sector weight” rating on the stock. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $52.10.

In other news, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $57.51, for a total transaction of $115,020.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 71,772 shares in the company, valued at $4,127,607.72. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, CEO William P. Bowers sold 164,377 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, June 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $56.01, for a total transaction of $9,206,755.77. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 181,005 shares in the company, valued at approximately $10,138,090.05. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 752,397 shares of company stock worth $41,381,702. Corporate insiders own 0.88% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Pettyjohn Wood & White Inc. raised its position in Southern by 0.3% in the second quarter. Pettyjohn Wood & White Inc. now owns 60,890 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,366,000 after acquiring an additional 175 shares during the period. Confluence Wealth Management LLC raised its position in Southern by 2.2% in the second quarter. Confluence Wealth Management LLC now owns 8,047 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $445,000 after acquiring an additional 175 shares during the period. 6 Meridian raised its position in Southern by 1.8% in the second quarter. 6 Meridian now owns 10,278 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $568,000 after acquiring an additional 181 shares during the period. Tokio Marine Asset Management Co. Ltd. raised its position in Southern by 0.8% in the second quarter. Tokio Marine Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 23,452 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,296,000 after acquiring an additional 186 shares during the period. Finally, Western Wealth Management LLC raised its position in Southern by 3.4% in the first quarter. Western Wealth Management LLC now owns 5,833 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $307,000 after acquiring an additional 193 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 56.59% of the company’s stock.

SO traded up $0.14 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $58.33. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 2,996,817 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,408,122. The company has a market capitalization of $60.53 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.00, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.26 and a beta of 0.18. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.33, a current ratio of 0.76 and a quick ratio of 0.59. Southern has a 1 year low of $42.50 and a 1 year high of $58.56. The company’s 50-day simple moving average is $56.06.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 6th. Stockholders of record on Monday, August 19th will be issued a dividend of $0.62 per share. This represents a $2.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.25%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, August 16th. Southern’s payout ratio is 80.78%.

Southern Company Profile

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.

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Earnings History and Estimates for Southern (NYSE:SO)

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