Southern Co. (SO) Gains As Market Dips: What You Should Know

Southern Co. (SO) closed the most recent trading day at $46.89, moving +0.17% from the previous trading session. The stock outpaced the S&P 500’s daily loss of 1.97%. Meanwhile, the Dow lost 2.32%, and the Nasdaq, a tech-heavy index, lost 2.78%.

Prior to today’s trading, shares of the power company had gained 7.51% over the past month. This has outpaced the Utilities sector’s gain of 1.23% and the S&P 500’s loss of 3.33% in that time.

Investors will be hoping for strength from SO as it approaches its next earnings release, which is expected to be February 20, 2019. On that day, SO is projected to report earnings of $0.24 per share, which would represent a year-over-year decline of 52.94%. Our most recent consensus estimate is calling for quarterly revenue of $5.38 billion, down 4.37% from the year-ago period.

SO’s full-year Zacks Consensus Estimates are calling for earnings of $3.02 per share and revenue of $23.11 billion. These results would represent year-over-year changes of 0% and +0.35%, respectively.

Investors should also note any recent changes to analyst estimates for SO. These recent revisions tend to reflect the evolving nature of short-term business trends. As a result, we can interpret positive estimate revisions as a good sign for the company’s business outlook.

Research indicates that these estimate revisions are directly correlated with near-term share price momentum. 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 ranges from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell). It has a remarkable, outside-audited track record of success, with #1 stocks delivering an average annual return of +25% since 1988. Within the past 30 days, our consensus EPS projection has moved 1.1% higher. SO is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).

Looking at its valuation, SO is holding a Forward P/E ratio of 15.48. For comparison, its industry has an average Forward P/E of 18.42, which means SO is trading at a discount to the group.

Also, we should mention that SO has a PEG ratio of 3.44. 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. SO’s industry had an average PEG ratio of 3.42 as of yesterday’s close.

The Utility – Electric Power industry is part of the Utilities sector. This industry currently has a Zacks Industry Rank of 92, which puts it in the top 36% 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.

Make sure to utilize Zacks. Com to follow all of these stock-moving metrics, and more, in the coming trading sessions.

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Source: Zacks

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