Analysts Expect The Southern Company (NYSE:SO) to Post $0.33 EPS

Brokerages expect that The Southern Company (NYSE:SO) will announce earnings per share (EPS) of $0.33 for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Two analysts have made estimates for Southern’s earnings, with the lowest EPS estimate coming in at $0.27 and the highest estimate coming in at $0.38. Southern posted earnings of $0.47 per share in the same quarter last year, which indicates a negative year-over-year growth rate of 29.8%. The firm is scheduled to issue its next earnings report on Thursday, February 17th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Southern will report full year earnings of $3.37 per share for the current financial year, with EPS estimates ranging from $3.33 to $3.42. For the next year, analysts expect that the company will report earnings of $3.53 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $3.48 to $3.61. Zacks’ earnings per share calculations are a mean average based on a survey of analysts that cover Southern.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, November 4th. The utilities provider reported $1.23 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.22 by $0.01. Southern had a return on equity of 11.38% and a net margin of 13.40%. The company had revenue of $6.24 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $6.15 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $1.22 earnings per share. Southern’s quarterly revenue was up 11.0% compared to the same quarter last year.

A number of brokerages have commented on SO. KeyCorp lifted their target price on Southern from $68.00 to $69.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 19th. Morgan Stanley reduced their price objective on Southern from $64.00 to $63.00 and set an “underweight” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, September 17th. Guggenheim upgraded Southern from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $72.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, September 7th. Mizuho reduced their price objective on Southern from $60.00 to $55.00 and set an “underperform” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, October 4th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Southern in a research report on Monday, August 2nd. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. According to MarketBeat, the stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $68.42.

SO stock traded up $0.09 during midday trading on Thursday, reaching $63.10. The company had a trading volume of 2,793,820 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,957,487. The company has a quick ratio of 0.69, a current ratio of 0.86 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.47. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $62.83 and a 200 day moving average price of $63.69. Southern has a fifty-two week low of $56.69 and a fifty-two week high of $67.54. The firm has a market capitalization of $66.87 billion, a PE ratio of 22.30, a P/E/G ratio of 3.79 and a beta of 0.46.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, November 15th will be issued a $0.66 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, November 12th. This represents a $2.64 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.18%. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is currently 93.29%.

In other Southern news, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 2,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $63.05, for a total value of $157,625.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, EVP Bryan D. Anderson sold 22,510 shares of Southern stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $66.87, for a total transaction of $1,505,243.70. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 85,847 shares of company stock worth $5,711,926 in the last ninety days. 0.43% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Mcdonald Partners LLC bought a new stake in Southern in the third quarter worth $214,000. Brick & Kyle Associates boosted its holdings in Southern by 0.5% in the third quarter. Brick & Kyle Associates now owns 40,288 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $2,519,000 after purchasing an additional 204 shares in the last quarter. Wealthsource Partners LLC bought a new stake in Southern in the third quarter worth $652,000. National Pension Service boosted its holdings in Southern by 1.2% in the third quarter. National Pension Service now owns 1,615,454 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $100,110,000 after purchasing an additional 19,555 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Consolidated Planning Corp boosted its holdings in Southern by 0.9% in the third quarter. Consolidated Planning Corp now owns 23,456 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,454,000 after purchasing an additional 209 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 59.23% of the company’s stock.

About 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.

Read More: Why are analyst ratings important in trading stocks?

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Southern (SO)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Earnings History and Estimates for Southern (NYSE:SO)

Receive News & Ratings for Southern Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Southern and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.