In the latest trading session, Southern Co. (SO - Free Report) closed at $51.66, marking a +0.9% move from the previous day. The stock outpaced the S&P 500's daily gain of 0.46%. Meanwhile, the Dow gained 0.15%, and the Nasdaq, a tech-heavy index, added 0.59%.
Prior to today's trading, shares of the power company had gained 1.41% over the past month. This has outpaced the Utilities sector's gain of 1.1% and lagged the S&P 500's gain of 3.24% in that time.
SO will be looking to display strength as it nears its next earnings release. On that day, SO is projected to report earnings of $0.74 per share, which would represent a year-over-year decline of 15.91%. Meanwhile, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenue is projecting net sales of $5.59 billion, down 12.31% from the year-ago period.
SO's full-year Zacks Consensus Estimates are calling for earnings of $3.03 per share and revenue of $21.99 billion. These results would represent year-over-year changes of -1.3% and -6.39%, 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.
Our research shows that these estimate changes are directly correlated with near-term stock prices. We developed the Zacks Rank to capitalize on this phenomenon. Our system takes these estimate changes into account and delivers a clear, actionable rating model.
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. The Zacks Consensus EPS estimate remained stagnant within the past month. SO is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).
Digging into valuation, SO currently has a Forward P/E ratio of 16.91. This represents a discount compared to its industry's average Forward P/E of 19.3.
Investors should also note that SO has a PEG ratio of 3.76 right now. 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. Utility - Electric Power stocks are, on average, holding a PEG ratio of 3.5 based on yesterday's closing prices.
The Utility - Electric Power industry is part of the Utilities sector. This group has a Zacks Industry Rank of 157, putting it in the bottom 39% of all 250+ industries.
The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our 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.