Southern Company (The) (NYSE: SO) and Kenon Holdings (NYSE:KEN) are both utilities companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their earnings, institutional ownership, risk, analyst recommendations, valuation, dividends and profitability.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

53.3% of Southern Company (The) shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 0.9% of Kenon Holdings shares are owned by institutional investors. 1.0% of Southern Company (The) shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings and price targets for Southern Company (The) and Kenon Holdings, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Southern Company (The) 2 4 8 0 2.43
Kenon Holdings 0 0 0 0 N/A

Southern Company (The) presently has a consensus target price of $48.90, suggesting a potential downside of 0.41%. Given Southern Company (The)’s higher possible upside, equities research analysts clearly believe Southern Company (The) is more favorable than Kenon Holdings.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Southern Company (The) and Kenon Holdings’ gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Southern Company (The) $22.65 billion 2.17 $5.63 billion $0.67 73.28
Kenon Holdings $2.08 billion 0.43 $522.12 million ($7.38) -2.30

Southern Company (The) has higher revenue and earnings than Kenon Holdings. Kenon Holdings is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Southern Company (The), indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Volatility & Risk

Southern Company (The) has a beta of 0.13, meaning that its stock price is 87% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Kenon Holdings has a beta of 1.01, meaning that its stock price is 1% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Dividends

Southern Company (The) pays an annual dividend of $2.32 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.7%. Kenon Holdings does not pay a dividend. Southern Company (The) pays out 346.3% 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 Company (The) has increased its dividend for 15 consecutive years.

Profitability

This table compares Southern Company (The) and Kenon Holdings’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Southern Company (The) 2.93% 11.30% 2.64%
Kenon Holdings -5.10% -8.83% -1.54%

Summary

Southern Company (The) beats Kenon Holdings on 13 of the 15 factors compared between the two stocks.

Southern Company (The) Company Profile

The Southern Company (Southern Company) is a holding company. The Company owns all of the stock of the traditional electric operating companies and the parent entities of Southern Power Company (Southern Power) and Southern Company Gas, and owns other direct and indirect subsidiaries. The Company’s segments include Gas distribution operations, Gas marketing services, Wholesale gas services, Gas midstream operations and All other. The Gas distribution operations segment includes natural gas local distribution utilities that construct, manage, and maintain intrastate natural gas pipelines and gas distribution facilities in seven states. The Gas marketing services segment provides natural gas commodity and related services to customers markets that provide for customer choice. The Wholesale gas services segment engages in natural gas storage and gas pipeline arbitrage. The Gas midstream operations consist primarily of gas pipeline investments, with storage and fuels.

Kenon Holdings Company Profile

Kenon Holdings Ltd. is a holding company that operates primarily growth-oriented businesses. The Company’s segments include I.C. Power Asia Development Ltd (IC Power), Qoros Automotive Co., Ltd. (Qoros) and Other. I.C. Power, through its subsidiary companies, is engaged in the production, operation and sale of electricity in countries in Latin America, the Caribbean region and Israel. Qoros is an automotive company. Its other activities include shipping services and renewable energy businesses. The Company also holds interests in ZIM Integrated Shipping Services, Ltd. (ZIM), which is a provider of container shipping services, and Primus Green Energy, Inc. (Primus), which is a developer and owner of a natural gas-to-liquid technology process. IC Power is an owner, developer and operator of power generation facilities, and operates power distribution business. Qoros offers approximately three vehicle models, which include the Qoros 3 Sedan, the Qoros 3 Hatch and the Qoros 3 City SUV.

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