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In the latest trading session, Southern Co. (SO) closed at $66.28, marking a -0.44% move from the previous day. This change was narrower than the S&P 500's daily loss of 3.25%. Meanwhile, the Dow lost 2.42%, and the Nasdaq, a tech-heavy index, lost 0.48%.
Heading into today, shares of the power company had lost 9.82% over the past month, lagging the Utilities sector's loss of 6.04% and the S&P 500's loss of 5.62% 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 $0.86 per share. This would mark year-over-year growth of 2.38%. Meanwhile, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenue is projecting net sales of $5.62 billion, up 8.09% from the year-ago period.
SO's full-year Zacks Consensus Estimates are calling for earnings of $3.56 per share and revenue of $24.81 billion. These results would represent year-over-year changes of +4.4% and +7.33%, respectively.
Investors might also notice recent changes to analyst estimates for Southern Co.These revisions help to show the ever-changing nature of near-term business trends. As such, positive estimate revisions reflect analyst optimism about the company's business and profitability.
Our research shows that these estimate changes are directly correlated with near-term stock prices. We developed the Zacks Rank to capitalize on this phenomenon. Our system takes these estimate changes into account and delivers a clear, actionable rating model.
Ranging from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell), the Zacks Rank system has a proven, outside-audited track record of outperformance, with #1 stocks returning an average of +25% annually since 1988. Within the past 30 days, our consensus EPS projection has moved 0.05% lower. Southern Co. is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold).
Investors should also note Southern Co.'s current valuation metrics, including its Forward P/E ratio of 18.69. This valuation marks a premium compared to its industry's average Forward P/E of 17.92.
Also, we should mention that SO has a PEG ratio of 4.67. 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. The Utility - Electric Power was holding an average PEG ratio of 3.02 at yesterday's closing price.
The Utility - Electric Power industry is part of the Utilities sector. This group has a Zacks Industry Rank of 106, putting it in the top 42% 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.
Make sure to utilize Zacks.com to follow all of these stock-moving metrics, and more, in the coming trading sessions.