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Southern Co. (SO) Gains But Lags Market: What You Should Know

Zacks Equity Research

Southern Co. (SO) closed the most recent trading day at $55.67, moving +0.45% from the previous trading session. The stock lagged the S&P 500's daily gain of 0.47%. Elsewhere, the Dow lost 0.29%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq added 0.85%.

Prior to today's trading, shares of the power company had lost 1% over the past month. This has was narrower than the Utilities sector's loss of 1.26% and lagged the S&P 500's gain of 2.08% in that time.

Wall Street will be looking for positivity from SO as it approaches its next earnings report date. This is expected to be July 31, 2019. The company is expected to report EPS of $0.72, down 10% from the prior-year quarter. Meanwhile, our latest consensus estimate is calling for revenue of $5.08 billion, down 9.73% from the prior-year quarter.

For the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates are projecting earnings of $3.02 per share and revenue of $22.24 billion, which would represent changes of -1.63% and -5.36%, respectively, from the prior year.

Investors should also note any recent changes to analyst estimates for SO. These revisions typically reflect the latest short-term business trends, which can change frequently. With this in mind, we can consider positive estimate revisions a sign of optimism about the company's business outlook.

Based on our research, we believe these estimate revisions are directly related to near-team stock moves. To benefit from this, we have developed the Zacks Rank, a proprietary model which takes these estimate changes into account and provides an actionable rating system.

The Zacks Rank system, which ranges from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive outside-audited track record of outperformance, with #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 1988. Over the past month, the Zacks Consensus EPS estimate has moved 0.23% lower. SO currently has a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold).

Valuation is also important, so investors should note that SO has a Forward P/E ratio of 18.33 right now. For comparison, its industry has an average Forward P/E of 19.85, which means SO is trading at a discount to the group.

Investors should also note that SO has a PEG ratio of 4.07 right now. This metric is used similarly to the famous P/E ratio, but the PEG ratio also takes into account the stock's expected earnings growth rate. Utility - Electric Power stocks are, on average, holding a PEG ratio of 3.81 based on yesterday's closing prices.

The Utility - Electric Power industry is part of the Utilities sector. This industry currently has a Zacks Industry Rank of 102, which puts it in the top 40% of all 250+ industries.

The Zacks Industry Rank includes is listed in order from best to worst in terms of the average Zacks Rank of the individual companies within each of these sectors. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.

Make sure to utilize Zacks. Com to follow all of these stock-moving metrics, and more, in the coming trading sessions.


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