5 Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks: HR, TAL, SO, EPB, PPL
Southern (NYSE: SO) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.40%. The Southern Company, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a public electric utility company. The company has a P/E ratio of 19.56. The average volume for Southern has been 3,849,800 shares per day over the past 30 days. Southern has a market cap of $39.8 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are up 6.3% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. TheStreet Ratings rates Southern as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income. Highlights from the ratings report include:
- Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 13.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 8.1%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
- Net operating cash flow has increased to $737.00 million or 29.75% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 11.10%.
- SOUTHERN CO has exprienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, SOUTHERN CO increased its bottom line by earning $2.67 versus $2.55 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.75 versus $2.67).
- In its most recent trading session, SO has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. Looking ahead, unless broad bear market conditions prevail, we still see more upside potential for this stock, despite the fact that it has already risen over the past year.
- The gross profit margin for SOUTHERN CO is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 34.20%. Regardless of SO's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 2.48% trails the industry average.
- You can view the full Southern Ratings Report.
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