Southern Co. Posts $525 Million Profit

Press release from the issuing company

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

Southern Company today reported first-quarter 2015 earnings of $508 million, or 56 cents a share, compared with earnings of $351 million, or 39 cents a share, in the first quarter of 2014. 

The first-quarter results for 2015 include a $6 million after-tax charge related to an increased construction estimate for Mississippi Power's Kemper integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) project. The first-quarter results for 2014 included a $235 million (27 cents per share) after-tax charge for the Kemper IGCC project. Excluding these items, Southern Company earned $514 million, or 56 cents per share, during the first quarter of 2015 compared to $586 million, or 66 centsper share, in the first quarter of 2014.

Earnings for the first quarter of 2015 were positively influenced by retail revenue effects at Southern Company's traditional operating companies, offset by milder winter weather compared to 2014 and increased operating and maintenance expenses.

"We are encouraged by positive customer growth during the first quarter of 2015, along with strong industrial sales and an economic development pipeline that remains robust," said Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning. "In the meantime, we remain focused on our core business strategy of providing clean, safe, reliable and affordable electricity to customers throughout the Southeast." 

First-quarter 2015 operating revenues were $4.18 billion, compared with $4.64 billion for the same period in 2014, a decrease of 9.9 percent quarter over quarter.

Kilowatt-hour sales to retail customers in Southern Company's four-state service area decreased 1.2 percent in the first quarter of 2015 compared with the first quarter of 2014. Due primarily to milder winter weather than in 2014, residential and commercial energy sales decreased 4.2 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively, while industrial energy sales increased 1.9 percent.

Total energy sales to Southern Company's customers in the Southeast, including wholesale sales, decreased 3.3 percent in the first quarter of 2015 compared with the same period in 2014.

Southern Company's financial analyst call will begin at 1 p.m. Eastern time today, during which Fanning and Chief Financial Officer Art P. Beattie will discuss earnings and provide a general business update. Investors, media and the public may listen to a live webcast of the call and view associated slides at A replay of the webcast will be available at the site for 12 months.