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Southern Company (SO) Q1 Earnings and Sales Beat Estimates

Zacks Equity Research

Have you been eager to see how The Southern Company SO – one of the largest utilities in the U.S. – performed in Q1 in comparison with the market expectations? Let’s quickly scan through the key facts from this Atlanta, GA-based utility’s earnings release this morning:

About Southern Company: Through its eleven electric and natural gas distribution units in nine states, Southern Company serves approximately nine million customers. It boasts of a generating capacity of 44,000 megawatts, around 200,000 miles of electric transmission and distribution lines and more than 80,000 miles of natural gas pipelines. Southern Company’s operations include wholesale electricity generation and natural gas services, retail energy services and natural gas storage operations throughout the country.

Zacks Rank & Surprise History: Currently, Southern Company has a Zacks Rank #4 (Hold) but that could change following its first quarter 2017 earnings report which has just released. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Coming to earnings surprise history, the company has a good record: its beaten estimates in three of the last four quarters resulting in an average positive surprise of 0.88%.

Estimate Revision Trend: Investors should note that the earnings estimate revisions for Southern Company was revised downwards by 9 cents in the last 90 days. The Zacks Consensus Estimate was revised upwards by 1 cent over the last 30 days.

Southern Company (The) Price and EPS Surprise

Southern Company (The) Price and EPS Surprise | Southern Company (The) Quote

We have highlighted some of the key details from the just-released announcement below:

A Higher-than-Expected Profit: Earnings per share (excluding certain one-time items) came in at 66 cents, above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 58 cents.

Revenue Came in Higher than Expected: Revenues of $5,771 million were ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $5,144 million.

Key Stats: Southern Company’s total retail sales declined 6.7%, with residential and commercial sales both declining. Total wholesale sales during the fourth quarter jumped 37% from the same period last year. However, industrial sales fell 2.2% year-over-year.

The power supplier’s operations and maintenance cost increased 20% to $1,329 million, while the utility’s total operating expense for the period – at $4,465 million – was up 46.3% from the prior-year level.

Share Performance: Shares have fallen around 4% year-to-date; while the Zacks categorized Utility - ElectricPower industry declined 1% over the same period.

Check back later for our full write up on this Southern Company earnings report later!

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