Analyzing Southern (SO) & Ocean Power Technologies (OPTT)

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Southern (NYSE:SO) and Ocean Power Technologies (NASDAQ:OPTT) are both utilities companies, but which is the better stock? We will compare the two businesses based on the strength of their valuation, profitability, dividends, analyst recommendations, risk, earnings and institutional ownership.

Dividends

Southern pays an annual dividend of $2.40 per share and has a dividend yield of 5.3%. Ocean Power Technologies 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 increased its dividend for 16 consecutive years.

Volatility & Risk

Southern has a beta of -0.09, indicating that its stock price is 109% less volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Ocean Power Technologies has a beta of 4.37, indicating that its stock price is 337% more volatile than the S&P 500.

Institutional & Insider Ownership

57.4% of Southern shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 6.6% of Ocean Power Technologies shares are owned by institutional investors. 0.7% of Southern shares are owned by insiders. Comparatively, 1.7% of Ocean Power Technologies shares are owned by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that endowments, hedge funds and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Ratings

This is a breakdown of current ratings for Southern and Ocean Power Technologies, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Southern 6 9 1 0 1.69
Ocean Power Technologies 0 0 0 0 N/A

Southern presently has a consensus price target of $45.88, indicating a potential upside of 1.51%. Given Southern’s higher probable upside, equities analysts plainly believe Southern is more favorable than Ocean Power Technologies.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Southern and Ocean Power Technologies’ gross revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Southern $23.03 billion 1.99 $880.00 million $3.02 14.97
Ocean Power Technologies $510,000.00 19.16 -$10.15 million N/A N/A

Southern has higher revenue and earnings than Ocean Power Technologies.

Profitability

This table compares Southern and Ocean Power Technologies’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Southern 9.96% 13.06% 3.00%
Ocean Power Technologies N/A -93.88% -73.13%

Summary

Southern beats Ocean Power Technologies on 10 of the 14 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 Ocean Power Technologies

Ocean Power Technologies, Inc. develops and commercializes proprietary systems that generate electricity by harnessing the renewable energy of ocean waves primarily in North America, South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. It offers PowerBuoy system that generates power for use independent of the power grid in remote offshore locations. The company focuses on serving public and private entities, and agencies that require remote offshore power. Ocean Power Technologies, Inc. was founded in 1984 and is headquartered in Monroe Township, New Jersey.

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