In the latest trading session, Southern Co. (SO) closed at $75.94, marking a -0.25% move from the previous day. This change was narrower than the S&P 500's 0.84% loss on the day. Meanwhile, the Dow lost 0.36%, and the Nasdaq, a tech-heavy index, lost 0.18%.
Heading into today, shares of the power company had lost 3.47% over the past month, outpacing the Utilities sector's loss of 6.72% and the S&P 500's loss of 10.24% in that time.
Southern Co. will be looking to display strength as it nears its next earnings release. In that report, analysts expect Southern Co. to post earnings of $1.33 per share. This would mark year-over-year growth of 8.13%. Meanwhile, our latest consensus estimate is calling for revenue of $6.67 billion, up 6.91% from the prior-year quarter.
For the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates are projecting earnings of $3.64 per share and revenue of $26.64 billion, which would represent changes of +6.74% and +15.27%, respectively, from the prior year.
It is also important to note the recent changes to analyst estimates for Southern Co.These revisions help to show the ever-changing nature of near-term business trends. 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. Investors can capitalize on this by using the Zacks Rank. This model considers these estimate changes and provides a simple, 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 0.79% higher. Southern Co. currently has a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).
Looking at its valuation, Southern Co. is holding a Forward P/E ratio of 20.94. Its industry sports an average Forward P/E of 18.73, so we one might conclude that Southern Co. is trading at a premium comparatively.
It is also worth noting that SO currently has a PEG ratio of 5.24. 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 3.19 as of yesterday's close.
The Utility - Electric Power industry is part of the Utilities sector. This group has a Zacks Industry Rank of 80, putting it in the top 32% 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.
You can find more information on all of these metrics, and much more, on Zacks.com.
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