Cleco Corporate Holdings (CNL) versus Southern Company (The) (SO) Head to Head Contrast

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

Profitability

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

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Cleco Corporate Holdings 8.24% 5.05% 1.60%
Southern Company (The) 2.93% 11.30% 2.64%

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Cleco Corporate Holdings and Southern Company (The)’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Cleco Corporate Holdings N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Southern Company (The) $22.65 billion 2.26 $5.63 billion $0.67 76.33

Southern Company (The) has higher revenue and earnings than Cleco Corporate Holdings.

Dividends

Southern Company (The) pays an annual dividend of $2.32 per share and has a dividend yield of 4.5%. Cleco Corporate 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. Cleco Corporate Holdings has increased its dividend for 15 consecutive years and Southern Company (The) has increased its dividend for 7 consecutive years.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of current recommendations for Cleco Corporate Holdings and Southern Company (The), as provided by MarketBeat.com.

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

Southern Company (The) has a consensus price target of $48.90, indicating a potential downside of 4.38%. Given Southern Company (The)’s higher possible upside, analysts clearly believe Southern Company (The) is more favorable than Cleco Corporate Holdings.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

53.3% of Southern Company (The) shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.7% of Southern Company (The) shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that large money managers, endowments and hedge funds believe a company is poised for long-term growth.

Summary

Southern Company (The) beats Cleco Corporate Holdings on 8 of the 11 factors compared between the two stocks.

Cleco Corporate Holdings Company Profile

Cleco Corporate Holdings LLC, formerly Cleco Corporation, is a public utility holding company. The Company’s segments include Cleco Power and Other. Cleco Power is a regulated electric utility company that owns over 10 generating units with a total nameplate capacity of approximately 3,330 megawatts (MW) and serves approximately 287,000 customers in Louisiana through its retail business and supplies wholesale power in Louisiana and Mississippi. The Company, through its subsidiaries, owns one transmission substation in Louisiana and one transmission substation in Mississippi. Cleco Power is engaged in the generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity within Louisiana. It owns natural gas pipelines and interconnections at all of its generating facilities, which allow it to access various natural gas supply markets and maintain an economical fuel supply for its customers. The Company holds investments in its subsidiary, Cleco Power LLC (Cleco Power).

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.

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