Southern Company Earnings Cheat Sheet: Reaches Near Pre-Recession Levels

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Southern Company (NYSE:SO) reported its results for the first quarter. Southern Company through its operating companies, provides electric service in four Southeastern states.

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Southern Company Earnings Cheat Sheet for the First Quarter

Results: Net income for Southern Company fell to $422 million (50 cents/share) vs. $494.5 million (60 cents/share) a year earlier. A decline of 17.4% from the year earlier quarter.

Revenue: Fell 3.5% to $4.01 billion YoY.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: SO fell short of the mean analyst estimate of 51 cents/share. Estimates ranged from 47 cents per share to 55 cents per share.

Quoting Management: “Activity among our industrial customers has nearly reached pre-recession levels, and we expect that momentum to continue as the year progresses,” said Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning. “While the overall pace of economic recovery remains measured, we are confident in the fundamental strength of our service territory and in our core business strategy focused on exceptional customer satisfaction, industry-leading reliability and prices below the national average.”

Key Stats: A year-over-year revenue decrease last quarter snaps a streak of four consecutive quarters of revenue increases. The best quarter in that span was the third quarter of the last fiscal year, which saw revenue rise 13.6%.

The company has now seen net income fall in each of the last two quarters. In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, net income fell 36.1% from the year earlier quarter.

Competitors to Watch: Entergy Corporation (NYSE:ETR), Progress Energy, Inc. (NYSE:PGN), Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE:DUK), SCANA Corporation (NYSE:SCG), NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NEE), TECO Energy, Inc. (NYSE:TE), PPL Corporation (NYSE:PPL), Dominion Resources, Inc. (NYSE:D), American Electric Power Co., Inc. (NYSE:AEP), and FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE:FE).

Today’s Performance: Shares of SO are trading at $38.84 as of April 27, 2011 at 11:06 AM ET, up from the previous closing price of $38.62.

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