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Southern Co. (SO) Gains As Market Dips: What You Should Know

Zacks Equity Research

Southern Co. (SO) closed the most recent trading day at $60.13, moving +0.23% from the previous trading session. This move outpaced the S&P 500's daily loss of 0.07%. At the same time, the Dow added 0.14%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 0.22%.

Coming into today, shares of the power company had gained 4.1% in the past month. In that same time, the Utilities sector gained 3.73%, while the S&P 500 gained 4.58%.

Investors will be hoping for strength from SO as it approaches its next earnings release. On that day, SO is projected to report earnings of $1.10 per share, which would represent a year-over-year decline of 3.22%. Meanwhile, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenue is projecting net sales of $5.91 billion, down 4.12% from the year-ago period.

For the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates are projecting earnings of $3.04 per share and revenue of $22.21 billion, which would represent changes of -0.85% and -5.47%, respectively, from the prior year.

Investors might also notice recent changes to analyst estimates for SO. These revisions typically reflect the latest short-term business trends, which can change frequently. As a result, we can interpret positive estimate revisions as a good sign for 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 ranges from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell). It has a remarkable, outside-audited track record of success, with #1 stocks delivering an average annual return of +25% since 1988. Over the past month, the Zacks Consensus EPS estimate has moved 0.63% higher. SO currently has a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold).

In terms of valuation, SO is currently trading at a Forward P/E ratio of 19.71. Its industry sports an average Forward P/E of 21.05, so we one might conclude that SO is trading at a discount comparatively.

It is also worth noting that SO currently has a PEG ratio of 4.38. The PEG ratio is similar to the widely-used P/E ratio, but this metric also takes the company's expected earnings growth rate into account. SO's industry had an average PEG ratio of 3.89 as of yesterday's close.

The Utility - Electric Power industry is part of the Utilities sector. This industry currently has a Zacks Industry Rank of 101, which puts it in the top 40% of all 250+ industries.

The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our industry groups by measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.

To follow SO in the coming trading sessions, be sure to utilize Zacks.com.

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