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Southern Company (SO) is scheduled to report its Q2 2012 results on July 25, 2012, after the bell. The Street expects EPS and revenue of $0.68 and $4.74B, respectively. In this article, I will recap the historical results of the company, its latest EPS estimates vs. surprises, the latest news from Southern Company and the news from its closest competitors.

Southern Company Revenue and Net Income History

Recent EPS Actuals vs. Estimates

In the last quarter, it reported $0.42 EPS, failing to meet analyst estimates of $0.46.

Southern Company EPS Historical Results vs Estimates

The consensus EPS estimate is $0.68 based on 12 analysts' estimates, down from $0.71 a year ago. Revenue estimates are $4.74B, up from $4.52B a year ago. The median target price by analysts for the stock is $47.00.

Average recommendation: Hold

Source: Marketwatch

Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades

  • On June 18, 2012, Hilliard Lyons downgraded the company from Buy to Neutral.

Latest News

  • On July 16, 2012, Southern Co announced a regular quarterly dividend of USD0.49 per share on the Company's common stock, payable September 6, 2012, to shareholders of record as of August 6, 2012.
  • On June 29, 2012, Southern Company and Turner Renewable Energy founder Ted Turner announced that the companies have acquired and will bring on line a 20 megawatt solar photovoltaic power plant in Nevada.
  • On May 15, 2012, Southern Company announced that for fiscal 2012, it expects earnings per share (EPS) growth range of 4% to 7% off of the guidance range that the Company gave this year of $2.58-$2.70 range.
  • On April 25, 2012, Southern Company announced that for second quarter of 2012, it expects earnings per share to be $0.65. According to I/B/E/S Estimates, analysts were expecting the Company to report EPS of $0.70 for second quarter of 2012.
  • On February 14, 2012, Southern Telecom, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company announced that Tower Cloud, a fiber optic and wireless backhaul network provider, has selected the Company for long-haul fiber optic services in the state of Georgia.
  • On February 7, 2012, Southern Company's Southern Telecom announced that Integrated Communication Solutions, a technology systems integrator and technology management services provider, has formalized an agreement to provide managed and unmanaged collocation and interconnect services in Birmingham, Ala. This new agreement provides Data Center infrastructure, technology integration services, and network interconnect services to all organizations that require critical system uptime, backup operation, and effective system availability during disaster recovery situations or as the primary data center for system operations.
  • On January 26, 2012, Southern Company announced that for first quarter of 2012, it expects earnings per share of $0.45. For fiscal 2012, it expects EPS in the range of $2.58-$2.70. According to I/B/E/S Estimates, analysts were expecting the Company to report EPS of $0.51 for first quarter of 2012 and EPS of $2.68 for fiscal 2012.

Competitors

Duke Energy (DUK), Exelon (EXC), FirstEnergy (FE), NextEra Energy (NEE), and SCANA (SCG) are considered competitors for Southern Company and the table below provides the key metrics for these companies and the industry.

Southern Company key ratio comparison with direct competitors
The chart below compares the stock price changes as a percentage for the selected companies for the last one-year period.

Click to enlargeSO Chart

SO data by YCharts

Competitors' Latest Development

  • On July 17, 2012, FirstEnergy Corp announced that its Board of Directors have declared a quarterly dividend of $0.55 per share of outstanding common stock. The dividend will be payable September 1, 2012, to shareholders of record as of August 7, 2012.
  • On July 12, 2012, Reuters reported that Duke Energy Corp is under regulatory scrutiny over the abrupt ouster of its CEO, is not expected to be forced to undo its purchase of Progress Energy, but could face a cold reception when it seeks new power rates in North Carolina later this year.
  • On July 12, 2012, Exelon Corp's Constellation announced it has renewed and extended for two years an agreement to supply competitively priced electricity to the state of New Jersey.
  • On July 11, 2012, Block & Leviton LLP, a Boston-based law firm representing investors nationwide, announced that it is investigating possible breaches of fiduciary duties by the Board of Directors of Duke Energy Corporation (Duke Energy or the Company) in connection with its merger with Progress Energy Inc. (Progress Energy) and the subsequent ouster of Chief Executive Officer Bill Johnson (Johnson).
  • On July 7, 2012, Reuters reported that North Carolina officials late on July 6, 2012, launched two investigations into the surprising move by Duke Energy Corp directors to replace former Progress Energy Chief Executive Bill Johnson with Duke CEO Jim Rogers, just a day after a deal to create the largest U.S. utility company was finalized.
  • On July 3, 2012, Duke Energy announced the closing of its previously announced merger with Progress Energy Inc., effective July 2, 2012. The new Company will be known as Duke Energy and will remain headquartered in Charlotte, with substantial operations in Raleigh, N.C. Duke Energy will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. In accordance with the terms of the merger agreement, Progress Energy Inc. has become a wholly owned direct subsidiary of Duke Energy.
  • On July 3, 2012, Duke Energy announced that it had an adjusted diluted EPS guidance range of $1.40 to $1.45 for fiscal 2012. With the 1-for-3 reverse stock split, which was completed in connection with the merger, this stand-alone guidance range becomes $4.20 to $4.35 per share.
  • On July 3, 2012, Dow Jones reported that Duke Energy Corp.'s Latin American subsidiary Duke Energy International acquired bankrupt Chilean Campanario power plant from private-equity fund Southern Cross Group for $86.2 million.
  • On June 26, 2012, Duke Energy announced that it has declared a quarterly cash dividend on its common stock of $0.255 per share, an increase of a half-cent over the previous level.
  • On June 14, 2012, Exelon Corp announced that Marshall County and Toluca, Ill. have chosen Constellation, a longtime competitive energy provider in Illinois with 1 million customers nationwide, to supply residents with low-cost hydroelectric energy following a competitive bidding process under the state`s electricity choice aggregation program.
  • On May 4, 2012, Duke Energy announced that first quarter of 2012 result shows, it is well-positioned to achieve fiscal 2012 adjusted earnings guidance range of $1.40 to $1.45 per share.
  • On May 3, 2012, SCANA Corporation announced that Board of Directors declared the regular quarterly dividend of $0.495 per share on the Company's common stock for the quarter ending June 30, 2012.
  • On May 1, 2012, FirstEnergy Corp. reaffirmed fiscal 2012 and 2013 non-GAAP earnings guidance.
  • On April 25, 2012, NextEra Energy, Inc. announced that for fiscal 2012, it expects adjusted earnings per share to be in the range of $4.35 to $4.65. It also continues to expect that adjusted EPS in fiscal 2014 will be in the range of $5.05 to $5.65. According to I/B/E/S Estimates, analysts are expecting the Company to report EPS of $4.52 for fiscal 2012, and EPS of $4.94 for fiscal 2014.
  • On March 23, 2012, Exelon Corp's Constellation Energy announced that it has been awarded a new General Services Administration (GSA) electricity supply contract for 17 federal buildings in California, including the Court of Appeals building in San Francisco.
  • On March 16, 2012, Lewis "Lew" Hay, III, 56, announced that he intends to retire from NextEra Energy, Inc., at the end of 2013 as part of a planned leadership succession process.
  • On March 13, 2012, FirstEnergy Corp. announced that it has launched a new investor relations app for iPad and iPhone devices.
  • On March 12, 2012, Exelon Corp and Constellation Energy announced that they have completed their merger, effective immediately. Upon the closing of the merger, Christopher M. Crane became president and Chief Executive Officer of the combined company, and Mayo A. Shattuck III became executive chairman.
  • On March 12, 2012, FirstEnergy Corp. announced that employees of its Mon Power Company, represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 2357, ratified a new four-year contract agreement.
  • On March 12, 2012, NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, the competitive energy subsidiary of NextEra Energy, Inc. and First Solar, Inc. announced the completion of NextEra Energy Resources' acquisition of two solar photovoltaic (PV) projects totaling 40 megawatts (AC) in Ontario, Canada from First Solar.
  • On February 29, 2012, FirstEnergy Corp. updated guidance for fiscal 2013 of $3.10 to $3.40 per share.
  • On February 28, 2012, FirstEnergy Corp. announced that it expects to report fiscal 2012 basic non-GAAP earnings of $3.30 to $3.60 per share of common stock, and on a GAAP basis, the Company expects fiscal 2012 basic earnings of $2.87 to $3.17 per share.
  • On February 16, 2012, Duke Energy announced that it has established its 2012 adjusted diluted earnings per share guidance range at $1.40 to $1.45. This range does not contemplate the effects of the proposed Progress Energy merger.
  • On February 15, 2012, SCANA Corporation announced that its Board of Directors, raised the quarterly cash dividend on the Company's common stock to 49 1/2 cents per share from 48 1/2 cents per share, an increase of 2.1%. This action increases the indicated annual dividend rate to $1.98 per share from $1.94 per share.
  • On February 15, 2012, SCANA Corporation reaffirmed its guidance for fiscal 2012 basic earnings per share to be in the range of $3.05 to $3.25, with an internal target of $3.17 per share.
  • On January 27, 2012, NextEra Energy, Inc. announced that for fiscal 2012, it expects adjusted earnings per share to be $4.35-$4.65. According to I/B/E/S Estimates, analysts are expecting the Company to report ESP of $4.55 for fiscal 2012.
  • On January 26, 2012, FirstEnergy Corp. announced that it expects to report fiscal 2011 basic non-GAAP earnings of $3.63 to $3.65 per share of common stock, up from its previous guidance of $3.30 to $3.50 per share.
  • On January 24, 2012, Exelon Corp announced that it will continue to receive the full $0.525 per share quarterly dividend, but may receive it in two separate payments depending on the effective date of the merger.
  • On January 23, 2012, SCANA Corporation's South Carolina Electric & Gas Company announced that it sold, in a negotiated offering, $250 million principal amount of its First Mortgage Bonds, 4.350% Series due February 1, 2042.

Technical Overview


The stock has a market capitalization of $41.50B and is currently trading at $47.77 with a 52-week range of $35.73-$48.45. The stock's year-to-date performance has been 5.41%. It is currently trading above 20, 50 and 200 SMA.

Sources: Yahoo Finance, Google Finance, Marketwatch, Finviz, Reuters.

Source: Earnings Preview: Southern Company