Southern Co. (SO) closed at $61.06 in the latest trading session, marking a +0.43% move from the prior day. This move outpaced the S&P 500's daily of 0%. Elsewhere, the Dow lost 0.19%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq added 0.07%.
Coming into today, shares of the power company had gained 4.92% in the past month. In that same time, the Utilities sector gained 7.09%, while the S&P 500 gained 4.25%.
SO will be looking to display strength as it nears its next earnings release. In that report, analysts expect SO to post earnings of $1.14 per share. This would mark no growth from the year-ago period. Our most recent consensus estimate is calling for quarterly revenue of $5.91 billion, down 4.12% from the year-ago period.
SO's full-year Zacks Consensus Estimates are calling for earnings of $3.04 per share and revenue of $22.12 billion. These results would represent year-over-year changes of -0.98% and -5.86%, respectively.
Any recent changes to analyst estimates for SO should also be noted by investors. These revisions typically reflect the latest short-term business trends, which can change frequently. As such, positive estimate revisions reflect analyst optimism about the company's business and profitability.
Research indicates that these estimate revisions are directly correlated with near-term share price momentum. 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. The Zacks Consensus EPS estimate has moved 0.51% higher within the past month. SO currently has a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold).
In terms of valuation, SO is currently trading at a Forward P/E ratio of 19.98. This valuation marks a discount compared to its industry's average Forward P/E of 21.17.
It is also worth noting that SO currently has a PEG ratio of 4.44. 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. The Utility - Electric Power industry currently had an average PEG ratio of 3.88 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 76, which puts it in the top 30% of all 250+ industries.
The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our individual 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.
Be sure to follow all of these stock-moving metrics, and many more, on Zacks.com.
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