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Southern Company (SO) Q2 Earnings & Revenues Top Estimates

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Power supplier The Southern Company (SO - Free Report) reported second-quarter 2021 earnings per share (excluding certain one-time items) of 84 cents, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 79 cents and increasing from the year-ago adjusted profit of 78 cents. The outperformance primarily stemmed from a favorable weather impact as well as the positive effects of rates, usage and pricing changes.

The utility, which recently sold its wholesale gas trading business to The Williams Companies (WMB - Free Report) , reported revenues of $5.2 billion. This beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 4.05% and was 12.5% higher than second-quarter 2020 sales.

The firm is still guiding for earnings per share of $3.25-$3.35 this year, while for the September quarter it is $1.22. Southern Company also stuck to its long-term EPS growth rate projection to 5-7% based on 2024 adjusted EPS of $4-$4.30.

Southern Company The Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Southern Company The Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

Southern Company The price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | Southern Company The Quote

Vogtle Updates

Per Southern Company’s latest earnings presentation, it continues to progress toward completing the Units 3 and 4 of the Vogtle nuclear project by hitting several milestones over the past few months. The utility’s revised in-service dates for the facilities are now second quarter of 2022 (unit 3) and the first quarter of 2023 (unit 4). At the same time, Southern Company increased the share of its Georgia Power subsidiary in capital costs for the units by $460 million.

Overall Sales Breakup

Southern Company’s wholesale power sales rose 2.5%. There was also a rise in retail electricity demand.

Consequently, there was an upward movement in overall electricity sales and usage. In fact, total electricity sales during the second quarter were up 5.7% from the same period last year.

Southern Company’s total retail sales improved 6.8%, with industrial and commercial sales surging 11.7% and 9.2%, respectively, though residential sales edged down 0.4%.

Expenses Summary

The power supplier’s operations and maintenance cost rose 19.5% year-over-year to $1.4 billion, while the utility’s total operating expense for the period — at $4.5 billion — was up 26.1% from the prior-year level.

Zacks Rank

Southern Company — one of the largest generators of electricity in the nation along with the likes of Exelon Corporation (EXC - Free Report) and Duke Energy Corporation (DUK - Free Report) — carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.