Southern Company Earnings: Positive Earnings Streak

Falling revenue did not prevent S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Southern Company (NYSE:SO) from reporting a profit boost in the fourth 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 Fourth Quarter

Results: Net income for Southern Company rose to $261 million (30 cents per share) vs. $153 million (18 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 70.6% from the year earlier quarter.

Revenue: Fell 2% to $3.7 billion from the year earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: SO beat the mean analyst estimate of 29 cents per share. It fell short of the average revenue estimate of $4.01 billion.

Quoting Management: “In a year filled with challenges, our employees continued to deliver results on behalf of the customers and communities we serve,” said Thomas A. Fanning, Southern Company chairman, president and chief executive officer. “They are helping to fulfill Southern Company’s $20 billion commitment to build the energy future of the Southeast, a process that is expected to grow more than 250,000 jobs, according to analysis by the University of West Georgia.”

Key Stats:

The company has now topped analyst estimates for the last three quarters. It beat the mark by 3 cents in the third quarter and by 7 cents in the second quarter.

A year-over-year revenue decrease last quarter snaps a streak of two consecutive quarters of revenue increases. Revenue rose 2% in the third quarter and 7.5% in the second quarter.

Looking Forward: Next quarter’s results are expected to be more favorable for the company. Over the past sixty days, the average estimate for the first quarter of the next fiscal year has reached 52 cents per share, up from 51 cents. Over the past three months, the average estimate for the fiscal year has climbed from $2.55 per to share to $2.56.

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).

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(Company fundamentals provided by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at