Southern Co Third Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Southern Co (NYSE:SO) will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, October 31, 2012. Southern Company, through its operating companies, provides electric service in four Southeastern states.

Southern Co Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for profit of $1.14 per share, a rise of 6.5% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from $1.16. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It has been unchanged at $1.14 during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 3.1% compared to last year’s $2.65.

Past Earnings Performance: The company topped estimates last quarter after missing forecasts the quarter prior. In the second quarter, it reported net income of 69 cents per share against a mean estimate of profit of 68 cents per share. In the first quarter, it missed forecasts by 4 cents.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $5.97 billion in revenue this quarter, a rise of 9.9% from the year-ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $18.02 billion for the year, a rise of 2% from last year’s revenue of $17.66 billion.

Stock Price Performance: Between August 1, 2012 and October 25, 2012, the stock price fell $1.66 (-3.5%), from $47.89 to $46.23. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between May 30, 2012 and June 8, 2012, when shares rose for eight straight days, increasing 3.3% (+$1.53) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between May 10, 2012 and May 17, 2012 when shares fell for six straight days, dropping 1% (-45 cents) over that span.

A Look Back: In the second quarter, profit rose 3.1% to $639 million (72 cents a share) from $620 million (70 cents a share) the year earlier, exceeding analyst expectations. Revenue fell 7.5% to $4.18 billion from $4.52 billion.

Key Stats:

On the top line, the company is hoping to use this earnings announcement to snap a string of three-straight quarters of revenue declines. Revenue fell 2% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year and 10.2% in first quarter before falling again in the second quarter.

Analyst Ratings: There are mostly holds on the stock with 13 of 16 analysts surveyed giving that rating.

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(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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