Cold winter lifts Southern's 1Q results

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 30, 2014 at 10:19 am •  Published: April 30, 2014
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ATLANTA (AP) — Utility Southern Co. said Wednesday that its first-quarter net income more than quadrupled, benefiting from colder winter weather.

Chairman, President and CEO Thomas Fanning said in a statement that the coldest January in 20 years helped drive energy demand.

The Atlanta company earned $351 million, or 39 cents per share, for the three months ended March 31. That's up sharply from $81 million, or 9 cents per share, a year ago.

Removing a charge of 27 cents per share tied to an increased construction estimate for a Mississippi Power gas project, earnings were 66 cents per share. That beat the 56 cents per share analysts surveyed by FactSet forecast.

Revenue increased 19 percent to $4.64 billion from $3.9 billion, topping Wall Street's $3.84 billion estimate.

Kilowatt-hour sales to retail customers in its four-state service area climbed 7.1 percent. Residential energy sales gained 14.8 percent and commercial sales rose 3.7 percent. Industrial sales increased 2.8 percent.

Southern's stock declined 36 cents to $46 in morning trading.