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Southern Co. (SO) Gains But Lags Market: What You Should Know

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Southern Co. (SO - Free Report) closed at $70.70 in the latest trading session, marking a +0.43% move from the prior day. This move lagged the S&P 500's daily gain of 0.73%. Meanwhile, the Dow gained 0.51%, and the Nasdaq, a tech-heavy index, added 1.34%.

Heading into today, shares of the power company had gained 12.42% over the past month, outpacing the Utilities sector's gain of 4.86% and the S&P 500's of 0% in that time.

SO will be looking to display strength as it nears its next earnings release, which is expected to be February 20, 2020. In that report, analysts expect SO to post earnings of $0.26 per share. This would mark year-over-year growth of 4%. Our most recent consensus estimate is calling for quarterly revenue of $5.02 billion, down 5.89% from the year-ago period.

It is also important to note the recent changes to analyst estimates for SO. These revisions typically reflect the latest short-term business trends, which can change frequently. 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. To benefit from this, we have developed the Zacks Rank, a proprietary model which takes these estimate changes into account and provides an actionable rating system.

The Zacks Rank system, which ranges from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive outside-audited track record of outperformance, with #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 1988. Within the past 30 days, our consensus EPS projection has moved 0.16% lower. SO is holding a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold) right now.

Digging into valuation, SO currently has a Forward P/E ratio of 22.2. Its industry sports an average Forward P/E of 20.69, so we one might conclude that SO is trading at a premium comparatively.

We can also see that SO currently has a PEG ratio of 4.93. This popular metric is similar to the widely-known P/E ratio, with the difference being that the PEG ratio also takes into account the company's expected earnings growth rate. The Utility - Electric Power industry currently had an average PEG ratio of 4.14 as of yesterday's close.

The Utility - Electric Power industry is part of the Utilities sector. This group has a Zacks Industry Rank of 114, putting it in the top 45% of all 250+ industries.

The Zacks Industry Rank includes is listed in order from best to worst in terms of the average Zacks Rank of the individual companies within each of these sectors. 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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