Southern (SO) & Empresa Distribuidora y Cmrz Nrt (EDN) Financial Contrast

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Southern (NYSE:SO) and Empresa Distribuidora y Cmrz Nrt (NYSE:EDN) are both utilities companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their analyst recommendations, valuation, dividends, risk, profitability, earnings and institutional ownership.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of recent ratings and target prices for Southern and Empresa Distribuidora y Cmrz Nrt, as provided by MarketBeat.com.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Southern 6 9 1 0 1.69
Empresa Distribuidora y Cmrz Nrt 1 1 0 0 1.50

Southern presently has a consensus target price of $45.81, suggesting a potential upside of 5.11%. Empresa Distribuidora y Cmrz Nrt has a consensus target price of $26.50, suggesting a potential upside of 18.62%. Given Empresa Distribuidora y Cmrz Nrt’s higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe Empresa Distribuidora y Cmrz Nrt is more favorable than Southern.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Southern and Empresa Distribuidora y Cmrz Nrt’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Southern $23.03 billion 1.92 $880.00 million $3.02 14.43
Empresa Distribuidora y Cmrz Nrt $1.47 billion 0.68 $41.20 million ($1.00) -22.34

Southern has higher revenue and earnings than Empresa Distribuidora y Cmrz Nrt. Empresa Distribuidora y Cmrz Nrt is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Southern, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Risk and Volatility

Southern has a beta of -0.05, indicating that its stock price is 105% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Empresa Distribuidora y Cmrz Nrt has a beta of 1.22, indicating that its stock price is 22% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

57.4% of Southern shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 8.8% of Empresa Distribuidora y Cmrz Nrt shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.7% of Southern shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, large money managers and hedge funds believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares Southern and Empresa Distribuidora y Cmrz Nrt’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Southern 9.96% 13.06% 3.00%
Empresa Distribuidora y Cmrz Nrt 4.64% 104.96% 5.74%

Dividends

Southern pays an annual dividend of $2.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 5.5%. Empresa Distribuidora y Cmrz Nrt does not pay a dividend. Southern pays out 79.5% of its earnings in the form of a dividend, suggesting it may not have sufficient earnings to cover its dividend payment in the future. Southern has raised its dividend for 16 consecutive years.

Summary

Southern beats Empresa Distribuidora y Cmrz Nrt on 12 of the 17 factors compared between the two stocks.

About Southern

The Southern Company, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity. The company also constructs, acquires, owns, and manages power generation assets, including renewable energy facilities and sells electricity in the wholesale market; and distributes natural gas in Illinois, Georgia, Virginia, New Jersey, Florida, Tennessee, and Maryland, as well as provides gas marketing services, wholesale gas services, and gas midstream operations. It owns and/or operates 33 hydroelectric generating stations, 29 fossil fuel generating stations, 3 nuclear generating stations, 15 combined cycle/cogeneration stations, 35 solar facilities, 8 wind facilities, 1 biomass facility, and 1 landfill gas facility; and constructs, operates, and maintains 82,000 miles of natural gas pipelines and 14 storage facilities with total capacity of 158 Bcf to provide natural gas to residential, commercial, and industrial customers. The company has 46,000 megawatts of generating capacity and 1,500 billion cubic feet of combined natural gas consumption and throughput volume serving 9 million electric and gas utility customers. It also provides products and services in the areas of distributed generation infrastructure, energy efficiency, and utility infrastructure. In addition, the company offers digital wireless communications services with various communication options, including push to talk, cellular service, text messaging, wireless Internet access, and wireless data. The Southern Company was founded in 1945 and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.

About Empresa Distribuidora y Cmrz Nrt

Empresa Distribuidora y Comercializadora Norte Sociedad Anónima, a public service company, engages in the distribution and sale of electricity in Argentina. It serves approximately 8.5 million people in the northwestern part of the greater Buenos Aires metropolitan area and the northern part of the City of Buenos Aires through the concession of 4,637 square kilometers. The company was formerly known as Empresa Distribuidora Norte Sociedad Anónima and changed its name to Empresa Distribuidora y Comercializadora Norte Sociedad Anónima in June 1996. The company was founded in 1992 and is based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Empresa Distribuidora y Comercializadora Norte Sociedad Anónima is a subsidiary of Electricidad Argentina S.A.

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