Best Of The Buy-Rated Dividend Stocks: Top 3 Companies: GEO, SO, WPC
Southern (NYSE: SO) shares currently have a dividend yield of 4.90%. The Southern Company, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a public electric utility company. The company has a P/E ratio of 21.13. The average volume for Southern has been 4,489,000 shares per day over the past 30 days. Southern has a market cap of $36.4 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 4% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. 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 expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Highlights from the ratings report include:
- SO's revenue growth trails the industry average of 16.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.6%. 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.
- 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 ($2.74 versus $2.67).
- Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $1,210.00 million or 1.76% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow, SOUTHERN CO's cash flow growth rate is still lower than the industry average growth rate of 17.92%.
- 36.88% is the gross profit margin for SOUTHERN CO which we consider to be strong. Regardless of SO's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 7.37% trails the industry average.
- Even though the current debt-to-equity ratio is 1.24, it is still below the industry average, suggesting that this level of debt is acceptable within the Electric Utilities industry. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio shows mixed results, the company's quick ratio of 0.26 is very low and demonstrates very weak liquidity.
- You can view the full Southern Ratings Report.
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