Southern Co (NYSE:SO) Expected to Post Quarterly Sales of $5.91 Billion

Brokerages forecast that Southern Co (NYSE:SO) will post sales of $5.91 billion for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks. Two analysts have issued estimates for Southern’s earnings, with the lowest sales estimate coming in at $5.81 billion and the highest estimate coming in at $6.00 billion. Southern reported sales of $6.16 billion during the same quarter last year, which would suggest a negative year-over-year growth rate of 4.1%. The firm is scheduled to report its next earnings results on Wednesday, November 6th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Southern will report full year sales of $22.12 billion for the current financial year, with estimates ranging from $21.39 billion to $23.51 billion. For the next fiscal year, analysts forecast that the company will report sales of $22.57 billion, with estimates ranging from $21.86 billion to $22.98 billion. Zacks’ sales averages are an average based on a survey of analysts that follow Southern.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, July 31st. The utilities provider reported $0.80 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.72 by $0.08. The firm had revenue of $5.10 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.12 billion. Southern had a return on equity of 10.04% and a net margin of 20.18%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 9.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.80 EPS.

A number of research analysts have recently commented on SO shares. Morgan Stanley lowered their target price on Southern from $55.00 to $54.00 and set an “underweight” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, August 16th. SunTrust Banks set a $59.00 price target on Southern and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 3rd. Barclays restated a “hold” rating and set a $57.00 price target on shares of Southern in a report on Wednesday, June 19th. Bank of America increased their price target on Southern from $60.00 to $64.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, September 12th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered Southern from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 6th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $55.70.

In other Southern news, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, August 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.51, for a total value of $115,020.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 71,772 shares in the company, valued at $4,127,607.72. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, EVP James Y. Kerr II sold 25,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.16, for a total value of $1,504,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 67,655 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,070,124.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 81,000 shares of company stock worth $4,855,580 in the last 90 days. 0.88% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in SO. Pettyjohn Wood & White Inc. raised its stake in shares of Southern by 0.3% in the second quarter. Pettyjohn Wood & White Inc. now owns 60,890 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $3,366,000 after purchasing an additional 175 shares during the last quarter. Confluence Wealth Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Southern by 2.2% in the second quarter. Confluence Wealth Management LLC now owns 8,047 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $445,000 after purchasing an additional 175 shares during the last quarter. 6 Meridian raised its stake in shares of Southern by 1.8% in the second quarter. 6 Meridian now owns 10,278 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $568,000 after purchasing an additional 181 shares during the last quarter. Tokio Marine Asset Management Co. Ltd. raised its stake in shares of Southern by 0.8% in the second quarter. Tokio Marine Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 23,452 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $1,296,000 after purchasing an additional 186 shares during the last quarter. Finally, St. Johns Investment Management Company LLC raised its stake in shares of Southern by 1.9% in the second quarter. St. Johns Investment Management Company LLC now owns 10,573 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $584,000 after purchasing an additional 195 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 58.36% of the company’s stock.

Shares of NYSE SO traded up $0.11 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $61.88. 2,957,278 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 4,667,632. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.33, a current ratio of 0.76 and a quick ratio of 0.59. The stock has a market capitalization of $64.26 billion, a PE ratio of 20.16, a P/E/G ratio of 4.51 and a beta of 0.16. Southern has a one year low of $42.50 and a one year high of $62.36. The company’s 50 day moving average is $59.40 and its 200 day moving average is $55.43.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 6th. Investors of record on Monday, August 19th were issued a dividend of $0.62 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, August 16th. This represents a $2.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.01%. Southern’s payout ratio is presently 80.78%.

Southern Company Profile

The Southern Company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. It operates in four segments: Gas Distribution Operations, Gas Pipeline Investments, Wholesale Gas Services, and Gas Marketing Services. The company also constructs, acquires, owns, and manages power generation assets, including renewable energy facilities and sells electricity in the wholesale market; and distributes natural gas in Illinois, Georgia, Virginia, and Tennessee, as well as provides gas marketing services, wholesale gas services, and gas pipeline investments operations.

Further Reading: What defines an oversold asset?

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Southern (SO)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Earnings History and Estimates for Southern (NYSE:SO)

Receive News & Ratings for Southern Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Southern and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.