Southern Company Second Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Southern Company (NYSE:SO) will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, July 27, 2011. Southern Company through its operating companies, provides electric service in four Southeastern states.

Southern Company Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for net income of 64 cents per share, a rise of 3.2% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved up from 63 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate was unchanged, but has risen during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting profit of $2.52 per share, a rise of 6.3% from last year.

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Past Earnings Performance: The company fell short of estimates last quarter after being in line with forecasts the quarter prior. In the first quarter, it reported net income of 50 cents per share versus a mean estimate of 51 cents. Two quarters ago, it reported profit of 18 cents per share.

Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $4.46 billion in revenue this quarter, a rise of 5.9% from the year ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $17.95 billion for the year, a rise of 2.8% from last year’s revenue of $17.46 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts seem relatively indifferent about Southern Company with 14 of 19 analysts surveyed maintaining a hold rating.

Key Stats:

A year-over-year revenue decrease in the first quarter snaps a streak of three consecutive quarters of revenue increases. Revenue fell 3.5% in the first quarter and rose 7.4%in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, 13.6% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year and 8.3% in the second quarter of the last fiscal year.

The company has now seen net income fall in each of the last two quarters. In the first quarter, net income fell 14.2% from the year earlier quarter, while the figure dropped 36.1% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

Competitors to Watch: Entergy Corporation (NYSE:ETR), Progress Energy, Inc. (NYSE:PGN), Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE:DUK), SCANA Corporation (NYSE:SCG), NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NEE), TECO Energy, Inc. (NYSE:TE), PPL Corporation (NYSE:PPL), Dominion Resources, Inc. (NYSE:D), American Electric Power Co., Inc. (NYSE:AEP), and FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE:FE).

Stock Price Performance: During April 26, 2011 to July 21, 2011, the stock price had risen $2.65 (6.9%) from $38.15 to $40.80. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between April 25, 2011 and May 4, 2011 when shares rose for eight-straight days, rising 3.8% (+$1.46) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between May 19, 2011 and May 27, 2011 when shares fell for seven-straight days, falling 2.5% (-$1.02) over that span. Shares are up $3.49 (+9.4%) year to date.

(Source: Xignite Financials)

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