Southern (NYSE: SO) shares currently have a dividend yield of 5.00%. The Southern Company, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a public electric utility company. The company has a P/E ratio of 21.96. The average volume for Southern has been 5,794,200 shares per day over the past 30 days. Southern has a market cap of $35.6 billion and is part of the utilities industry. Shares are down 1.2% 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 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:
- Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $2,464.00 million or 7.73% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, SOUTHERN CO has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 4.41%.
- SOUTHERN CO's earnings per share declined by 12.6% in the most recent quarter compared to 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 ($2.68 versus $2.67).
- 42.28% 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, SO's net profit margin of 17.32% compares favorably to the industry average.
- SO, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 2.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 0.6%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
- Even though the current debt-to-equity ratio is 1.17, 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 0.40 is very low and demonstrates very weak liquidity.
- You can view the full Southern Ratings Report.
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