Stocks Utilities

Southern Company Valuation – June 2016 $SO

Benjamin Graham taught that Intelligent Investors must do a thorough fundamental analysis of investment opportunities to determine their intrinsic value and inherent risk.  This is best done by utilizing a systematic approach to analysis that will provide investors with a sense of how a specific company compares to another company or by reviewing the 10 Companies Benjamin Graham Would Invest In Today – June 2016.  By using the ModernGraham method one can review a company’s historical accomplishments and determine an intrinsic value that can be compared across industries.  What follows is a stock analysis showing a specific look at how Southern Company (SO) fares in the ModernGraham valuation model.

Company Profile (obtained from Google Finance): The Southern Company (Southern Company) is a holding company. The Company owns all of the stock of the traditional operating companies and Southern Power Company (Southern Power), and owns other direct and indirect subsidiaries. Southern Company’s segments include the sale of electricity by four traditional operating companies, Southern Power and All Other. The traditional operating companies, including Alabama Power Company (Alabama Power), Georgia Power Company (Georgia Power), Gulf Power Company (Gulf Power) and Mississippi Power Company (Mississippi Power), are vertically integrated utilities providing electric service in over four Southeastern states. The Company has interests in the Southern Communications Services, Inc., Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc., Southern Company Holdings, Inc. and other direct and indirect subsidiaries. Its subsidiary also includes PowerSecure International, Inc.

[level-free]

To read the details of this valuation, you must be logged in as a premium member. If you are not a premium member, please consider becoming one.

Premium members can view a full ModernGraham valuation of the company and have access to download a PDF version of the valuation for easy reference. Here is a free sample valuation pdf, and here is a post detailing what can be found within each individual company’s valuation.

[/level-free]
[not-level-free]

Downloadable PDF version of this valuation:

ModernGraham Valuation of SO – June 2016

Stage 1: Is this company suitable for the Defensive Investor or the Enterprising Investor?

What kind of Intelligent Investor are you?

Defensive Investor; must pass 6 out of the following 7 tests.
1. Adequate Size of the Enterprise Market Cap > $2Bil $49,117,164,400 Pass
2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition Current Ratio > 2 0.70 Fail
3. Earnings Stability Positive EPS for 10 years prior Pass
4. Dividend Record Dividend Payments for 10 years prior Pass
5. Earnings Growth Increase of 33% in EPS in past 10 years using 3 year averages at beginning and end 14.11% Fail
6. Moderate PEmg Ratio PEmg < 20 21.13 Fail
7. Moderate Price to Assets PB Ratio < 2.5 OR PB*PEmg < 50 2.31 Pass
Enterprising Investor; must pass 4 out of the following 5 tests, or be suitable for the Defensive Investor.
1. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition Current Ratio > 1.5 0.70 Fail
2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition Debt to NCA < 1.1 -10.89 Fail
3. Earnings Stability Positive EPS for 5 years prior Pass
4. Dividend Record Currently Pays Dividend Pass
5. Earnings Growth EPSmg greater than 5 years ago Pass

Stage 2: Determination of Intrinsic Value

SO value chart June 2016

EPSmg $2.47
MG Growth Estimate 0.02%
MG Value $21.12
Opinion Overvalued
MG Grade D+
MG Value based on 3% Growth $35.82
MG Value based on 0% Growth $21.00
Market Implied Growth Rate 6.31%
Current Price $52.20
% of Intrinsic Value 247.15%

Southern Co does not satisfy the requirements of either the Enterprising Investor or the more conservative Defensive Investor. The Defensive Investor is concerned with the low current ratio, insufficient earnings growth over the last ten years, and the high PEmg ratio. The Enterprising Investor has concerns regarding the level of debt relative to the current assets. As a result, all value investors following the ModernGraham approach should explore other opportunities at this time or proceed cautiously with a speculative attitude.

As for a valuation, the company appears to be Overvalued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $2.47 in 2012 to an estimated $2.47 for 2016. This level of demonstrated earnings growth does not support the market’s implied estimate of 6.31% annual earnings growth over the next 7-10 years. As a result, the ModernGraham valuation model, based on Benjamin Graham’s formula, returns an estimate of intrinsic value below the price.

Southern Co scores quite poorly in the ModernGraham grading system, with an overall grade of D+.

Stage 3: Information for Further Research

SO charts June 2016

Net Current Asset Value (NCAV) -$56.92
Graham Number $37.43
PEmg 21.13
Current Ratio 0.70
PB Ratio 2.31
Current Dividend $2.17
Dividend Yield 4.16%
Number of Consecutive Years of Dividend Growth 15

[/not-level-free]

Useful Links:

ModernGraham tagged articles Morningstar
Google Finance MSN Money
Yahoo Finance Seeking Alpha
GuruFocus SEC Filings

Most Recent Balance Sheet Figures

Balance Sheet Information 3/1/2016
Total Current Assets $5,461,000,000
Total Current Liabilities $7,856,000,000
Long-Term Debt $26,091,000,000
Total Assets $78,735,000,000
Intangible Assets $0
Total Liabilities $57,938,000,000
Shares Outstanding (Diluted Average) 922,000,000

Earnings Per Share History

Next Fiscal Year Estimate $2.75
Dec2015 $2.59
Dec2014 $2.18
Dec2013 $1.87
Dec2012 $2.67
Dec2011 $2.55
Dec2010 $2.36
Dec2009 $2.06
Dec2008 $2.25
Dec2007 $2.28
Dec2006 $2.10
Dec2005 $2.13
Dec2004 $2.06
Dec2003 $2.02
Dec2002 $1.85
Dec2001 $1.82
Dec2000 $2.01
Dec1999 $1.86
Dec1998 $1.40
Dec1997 $1.42
Dec1996 $1.68

Earnings Per Share – ModernGraham History

Next Fiscal Year Estimate $2.47
Dec2015 $2.34
Dec2014 $2.26
Dec2013 $2.30
Dec2012 $2.47
Dec2011 $2.34
Dec2010 $2.23
Dec2009 $2.16
Dec2008 $2.20
Dec2007 $2.16
Dec2006 $2.07
Dec2005 $2.03
Dec2004 $1.97
Dec2003 $1.92
Dec2002 $1.85
Dec2001 $1.80
Dec2000 $1.75

Recommended Reading:

Other ModernGraham posts about the company

58 Companies in the Spotlight This Week – 1/31/15
Southern Company Annual Valuation – 2015 $SO
14 Companies in the Spotlight This Week – 1/25/14
The Southern Company (SO) Annual Valuation

Other ModernGraham posts about related companies

CMS Energy Corp Valuation – June 2016 $CMS
Xcel Energy Inc Valuation – May 2016 $XEL
PPL Corporation Valuation – January 2016 Update $PPL
Entergy Corp Valuation – January 2016 Update $ETR
PPL Corporation Valuation – January 2016 Update $PPL
Entergy Corp Valuation – January 2016 Update $ETR
Pinnacle West Capital Corp Valuation – December 2015 Update $PNW
Pinnacle West Capital Corp Valuation – December 2015 Update $PNW
Pepco Holdings Inc Valuation – December 2015 Update $POM
American Electric Power Co Valuation – November 2015 Update $AEP

Disclaimer:

The author did not hold a position in any company mentioned in this article at the time of publication and had no intention of changing that position within the next 72 hours.  See my current holdings here.  This article is not investment advice; any reader should speak to a registered investment adviser prior to making any investment decisions.  ModernGraham is not affiliated with the company in any manner.  Please be sure to review our detailed disclaimer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back To Top