Analysts Anticipate The Southern Company (NYSE:SO) Will Announce Quarterly Sales of $5.87 Billion

Brokerages expect The Southern Company (NYSE:SO) to post sales of $5.87 billion for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Two analysts have issued estimates for The Southern’s earnings, with the lowest sales estimate coming in at $5.83 billion and the highest estimate coming in at $5.91 billion. The Southern posted sales of $5.62 billion in the same quarter last year, which suggests a positive year over year growth rate of 4.4%. The firm is scheduled to announce its next earnings results before the market opens on Thursday, November 4th.

On average, analysts expect that The Southern will report full year sales of $22.27 billion for the current financial year, with estimates ranging from $22.12 billion to $22.43 billion. For the next financial year, analysts anticipate that the firm will post sales of $23.21 billion, with estimates ranging from $22.97 billion to $23.59 billion. Zacks’ sales calculations are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side research firms that that provide coverage for The Southern.

The Southern (NYSE:SO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 29th. The utilities provider reported $0.84 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.79 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $5.20 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5 billion. The Southern had a net margin of 14.47% and a return on equity of 11.43%.

A number of brokerages recently issued reports on SO. Wells Fargo & Company restated a “buy” rating on shares of The Southern in a research note on Monday, August 2nd. Guggenheim upgraded The Southern from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $72.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, September 7th. Morgan Stanley decreased their price objective on shares of The Southern from $64.00 to $63.00 and set an “underweight” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, September 17th. Finally, Mizuho decreased their price objective on shares of The Southern from $60.00 to $55.00 and set an “underperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, October 4th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the stock. According to data from MarketBeat.com, the stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $68.23.

In related news, insider Christopher C. Womack sold 51,987 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $66.87, for a total value of $3,476,370.69. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 76,647 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,125,384.89. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Bryan D. Anderson sold 22,510 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $66.87, for a total value of $1,505,243.70. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 89,747 shares of company stock valued at $5,969,659. Insiders own 0.43% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of SO. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD increased its holdings in shares of The Southern by 12.8% during the first quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 43,940,360 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,731,333,000 after acquiring an additional 4,972,698 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in shares of The Southern by 4.3% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 75,047,966 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $4,541,152,000 after buying an additional 3,064,645 shares during the last quarter. Cohen & Steers Inc. boosted its position in shares of The Southern by 843,210.3% during the first quarter. Cohen & Steers Inc. now owns 2,858,822 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $177,704,000 after buying an additional 2,858,483 shares during the last quarter. Invesco Ltd. boosted its position in shares of The Southern by 63.9% during the second quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 5,760,644 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $348,577,000 after buying an additional 2,246,542 shares during the last quarter. Finally, FMR LLC boosted its position in shares of The Southern by 7.7% during the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 22,647,246 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $1,370,384,000 after buying an additional 1,626,550 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 59.30% of the company’s stock.

SO opened at $62.51 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.46, a current ratio of 0.82 and a quick ratio of 0.65. The company has a market capitalization of $66.19 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.05, a P/E/G ratio of 4.01 and a beta of 0.45. The firm’s fifty day moving average price is $64.81 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $64.00. The Southern has a 1 year low of $56.69 and a 1 year high of $67.54.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, September 7th. Stockholders of record on Monday, August 16th were paid a dividend of $0.66 per share. This represents a $2.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.22%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, August 13th. The Southern’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 81.23%.

About The Southern

The Southern Co is a holding company. The firm engages in the sale of electricity. It operates through the following segments: Traditional Electric Operating Companies, Southern Power and Southern Company Gas. The Traditional Electric Operating Companies segment refers to vertically integrated utilities that own generation, transmission and distribution facilities, and supplies electric services in the states of Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Mississippi.

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