Brokerages Anticipate The Southern Company (NYSE:SO) Will Announce Quarterly Sales of $5.62 Billion

Wall Street analysts forecast that The Southern Company (NYSE:SOGet Rating) will report sales of $5.62 billion for the current quarter, Zacks reports. Three analysts have made estimates for Southern’s earnings, with estimates ranging from $5.58 billion to $5.69 billion. Southern posted sales of $5.20 billion during the same quarter last year, which would indicate a positive year over year growth rate of 8.1%. The company is scheduled to issue its next earnings report on Monday, January 1st.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Southern will report full-year sales of $24.62 billion for the current year, with estimates ranging from $24.17 billion to $25.08 billion. For the next fiscal year, analysts forecast that the firm will report sales of $25.57 billion, with estimates ranging from $25.26 billion to $26.11 billion. Zacks’ sales calculations are an average based on a survey of research firms that cover Southern.

Southern (NYSE:SOGet Rating) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 28th. The utilities provider reported $0.97 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.91 by $0.06. Southern had a return on equity of 11.35% and a net margin of 10.09%. The firm had revenue of $6.60 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.93 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.98 EPS. Southern’s quarterly revenue was up 11.7% compared to the same quarter last year.

SO has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. StockNews.com initiated coverage on Southern in a research report on Thursday, March 31st. They set a “hold” rating for the company. Mizuho lifted their target price on Southern from $67.00 to $76.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 21st. Wells Fargo & Company boosted their price target on Southern from $68.00 to $80.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 19th. Morgan Stanley reduced their price target on Southern from $68.00 to $67.00 and set an “underweight” rating for the company in a research report on Tuesday, April 26th. Finally, Bank of America lowered Southern from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and reduced their price target for the stock from $75.00 to $71.00 in a research report on Monday, February 7th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. According to MarketBeat.com, Southern currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $73.75.

In other news, CEO Stephen E. Kuczynski sold 14,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, April 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $75.97, for a total transaction of $1,101,565.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 115,284 shares in the company, valued at $8,758,125.48. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, CEO Kimberly S. Greene sold 100,005 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, March 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.05, for a total value of $7,005,350.25. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 338,896 shares of company stock worth $24,354,786. Company insiders own 0.43% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Cornerstone Advisory LLC raised its holdings in Southern by 23.5% in the 1st quarter. Cornerstone Advisory LLC now owns 8,002 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $580,000 after acquiring an additional 1,524 shares during the last quarter. Sawtooth Solutions LLC raised its stake in shares of Southern by 33.4% in the 1st quarter. Sawtooth Solutions LLC now owns 10,963 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $795,000 after purchasing an additional 2,743 shares in the last quarter. Toroso Investments LLC raised its stake in shares of Southern by 4.4% in the 1st quarter. Toroso Investments LLC now owns 12,662 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $918,000 after purchasing an additional 530 shares in the last quarter. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC raised its stake in Southern by 16.7% during the first quarter. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC now owns 3,608 shares of the utilities provider’s stock worth $266,000 after acquiring an additional 517 shares during the period. Finally, Magnolia Wealth Management LLC acquired a new stake in Southern during the first quarter worth about $6,529,000. 60.58% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of SO stock opened at $73.41 on Monday. Southern has a 52-week low of $60.12 and a 52-week high of $77.24. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.55, a quick ratio of 0.70 and a current ratio of 0.89. The firm has a market capitalization of $78.00 billion, a P/E ratio of 33.99, a P/E/G ratio of 5.14 and a beta of 0.48. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $73.28 and a 200 day moving average price of $68.52.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, June 6th. Shareholders of record on Monday, May 16th will be paid a dividend of $0.68 per share. This represents a $2.72 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.71%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, May 13th. This is an increase from Southern’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.66. Southern’s payout ratio is presently 125.93%.

Southern Company Profile (Get Rating)

The Southern Company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. It operates through Gas Distribution Operations, Gas Pipeline Investments, Wholesale Gas Services, and Gas Marketing Services segments. The company also develops, constructs, acquires, owns, and manages power generation assets, including renewable energy projects 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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