Analysts Expect Southern Co (NYSE:SO) Will Post Quarterly Sales of $5.62 Billion

Analysts expect Southern Co (NYSE:SO) to announce $5.62 billion in sales for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Two analysts have issued estimates for Southern’s earnings, with the highest sales estimate coming in at $5.65 billion and the lowest estimate coming in at $5.59 billion. Southern reported sales of $5.41 billion during the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year-over-year growth rate of 3.9%. The firm is expected to report its next quarterly earnings report on Wednesday, May 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 $21.64 billion to $22.42 billion. For the next financial year, analysts expect that the firm will report sales of $22.67 billion, with estimates ranging from $22.05 billion to $23.02 billion. Zacks’ sales averages are a mean average based on a survey of research analysts that cover Southern.

Southern (NYSE:SO) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 20th. The utilities provider reported $0.27 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.27. The business had revenue of $4.91 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.27 billion. Southern had a return on equity of 10.38% and a net margin of 22.20%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 7.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.25 earnings per share.

SO has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. Royal Bank of Canada restated a “buy” rating and issued a $67.00 price target on shares of Southern in a research note on Sunday, January 19th. Credit Suisse Group boosted their price target on Southern from $60.00 to $64.00 and gave the stock an “underperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 18th. ValuEngine cut Southern from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, February 28th. Barclays decreased their price target on Southern from $68.00 to $52.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, March 26th. Finally, SunTrust Banks lifted their price objective on Southern from $60.00 to $63.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, December 18th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. Southern presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $62.12.

NYSE:SO traded down $3.22 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $54.77. 528,113 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 9,085,126. The business’s 50-day moving average price is $61.34 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $62.63. The stock has a market capitalization of $59.05 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.05, a P/E/G ratio of 4.41 and a beta of 0.38. Southern has a 1 year low of $41.96 and a 1 year high of $71.10. The company has a current ratio of 0.78, a quick ratio of 0.63 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.37.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 6th. Investors of record on Tuesday, February 18th were given a $0.62 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, February 14th. This represents a $2.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 4.53%. Southern’s dividend payout ratio is currently 79.74%.

In other Southern news, CEO Anthony L. Wilson sold 61,018 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, January 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.00, for a total transaction of $3,966,170.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 90,208 shares in the company, valued at $5,863,520. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Christopher C. Womack sold 9,843 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $67.99, for a total value of $669,225.57. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 18,146 shares in the company, valued at $1,233,746.54. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 127,827 shares of company stock worth $8,305,763 over the last quarter. 0.88% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. RMR Wealth Builders bought a new position in Southern in the fourth quarter worth approximately $25,000. Sowa Financial Group Inc. bought a new position in Southern in the fourth quarter worth approximately $25,000. Valley National Advisers Inc. grew its stake in Southern by 49.0% in the fourth quarter. Valley National Advisers Inc. now owns 447 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $28,000 after purchasing an additional 147 shares in the last quarter. Engrave Wealth Partners LLC bought a new stake in Southern during the 4th quarter valued at $31,000. Finally, Carolina Wealth Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Southern during the 4th quarter valued at $32,000. 59.95% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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