Will These Numbers from Southern Be Good Enough for You?

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Southern (NYS: SO) is expected to report Q4 earnings on Jan. 30. Here's what Wall Street wants to see:

The 10-second takeaway
Comparing the upcoming quarter to the prior-year quarter, average analyst estimates predict Southern's revenues will grow 18.3% and EPS will increase 42.9%.

The average estimate for revenue is $4.37 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.40.


Revenue details
Last quarter, Southern chalked up revenue of $5.05 billion. GAAP reported sales were 7.0% lower than the prior-year quarter's $5.43 billion.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

EPS details
Last quarter, EPS came in at $1.11. GAAP EPS of $1.11 for Q3 were 4.7% higher than the prior-year quarter's $1.06 per share.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

Recent performance
For the preceding quarter, gross margin was 48.0%, 520 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 34.5%, 410 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 19.3%, 240 basis points better than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead

The full year's average estimate for revenue is $17.54 billion. The average EPS estimate is $2.62.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a four-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 1,024 members out of 1,080 rating the stock outperform, and 56 members rating it underperform. Among 303 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 292 give Southern a green thumbs-up, and 11 give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Southern is hold, with an average price target of $47.00.

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The article Will These Numbers from Southern Be Good Enough for You? originally appeared on Fool.com.

Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor ofMotley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. TMFDisclosureHer

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