$0.34 EPS Expected for Southern Co (NYSE:SO) This Quarter

Equities analysts expect Southern Co (NYSE:SO) to announce earnings of $0.34 per share for the current quarter, Zacks reports. Two analysts have provided estimates for Southern’s earnings. The highest EPS estimate is $0.44 and the lowest is $0.26. Southern posted earnings of $0.25 per share in the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year-over-year growth rate of 36%. The business is scheduled to announce its next quarterly earnings report on Wednesday, February 19th.

On average, analysts expect that Southern will report full-year earnings of $3.09 per share for the current fiscal year, with EPS estimates ranging from $3.04 to $3.12. For the next fiscal year, analysts forecast that the business will report earnings of $3.18 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $3.13 to $3.25. Zacks’ earnings per share calculations are a mean average based on a survey of research analysts that cover Southern.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 30th. The utilities provider reported $1.34 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.20. The company had revenue of $6 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $6.01 billion. Southern had a net margin of 21.02% and a return on equity of 10.52%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 2.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.14 EPS.

SO has been the topic of several research analyst reports. Bank of America increased their price objective on Southern from $60.00 to $64.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday, September 12th. SunTrust Banks set a $59.00 price objective on Southern and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, September 3rd. Morgan Stanley decreased 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. Evercore ISI reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $63.50 target price on shares of Southern in a report on Thursday, November 28th. Finally, UBS Group increased their price target on Southern from $58.00 to $62.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, September 6th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and eleven have assigned a hold rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $56.41.

Shares of Southern stock traded down $0.62 on Tuesday, hitting $62.14. 3,474,007 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 4,112,822. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $61.89 and its 200-day moving average price is $58.53. The company has a current ratio of 0.94, a quick ratio of 0.77 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.37. Southern has a 52 week low of $42.50 and a 52 week high of $63.29. The company has a market cap of $65.82 billion, a PE ratio of 20.24, a PEG ratio of 4.51 and a beta of 0.14.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 6th. Stockholders of record on Monday, November 18th were paid a dividend of $0.62 per share. The ex-dividend date was Friday, November 15th. This represents a $2.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.99%. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is presently 80.78%.

In related news, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.22, for a total transaction of $124,440.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 65,772 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,092,333.84. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP James Y. Kerr II sold 25,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.16, for a total value of $1,554,000.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 67,655 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,205,434.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 157,288 shares of company stock worth $9,525,281. Insiders own 0.88% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Regentatlantic Capital LLC increased its position in Southern by 19.3% during the 2nd quarter. Regentatlantic Capital LLC now owns 6,651 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $368,000 after buying an additional 1,076 shares in the last quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC grew its stake in shares of Southern by 138.8% during the second quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC now owns 4,219 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $220,000 after acquiring an additional 2,452 shares during the last quarter. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Southern by 2.5% during the second quarter. Daiwa Securities Group Inc. now owns 40,346 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $2,230,000 after acquiring an additional 1,000 shares in the last quarter. Carnegie Capital Asset Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of Southern by 14.5% during the second quarter. Carnegie Capital Asset Management LLC now owns 14,508 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $802,000 after acquiring an additional 1,840 shares in the last quarter. Finally, James Investment Research Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Southern in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $171,000. Institutional investors own 58.99% of the company’s stock.

About Southern

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.

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