An Earnings Beat: Electric utility firm Southern Company (SO - Free Report) reported earnings per share (excluding certain one-time items) of 25 cents, ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 24 cents.
Estimate Revision Trend & Surprise History: The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter has been unchanged in the last seven days.
Southern Company has an excellent earnings surprise history. Before posting the earnings beat in Q4, the utility delivered positive surprises in each of the prior four quarters, as shown in the chart below:
Revenue Came in Higher than Expected: Revenues of $5.3 billion came above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4.9 billion.
Key Stats: Southern Company’s total retail sales edged up 0.7%, with residential and commercial sales both improving. However, industrial sales fell 1.4% year over year. This brought about a downward movement in overall electricity sales and usage. Total electricity sales during the fourth quarter was down 0.8% from the same period last year. Meanwhile, total wholesale sales slumped 5.3% year over year.
The power supplier’s operations and maintenance cost increased 2% to $1.7 billion, while the utility’s total operating expense for the period – at $4.8 billion – was down 3% from the prior-year level.
Zacks Rank: Currently, Southern Company carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
(You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.)
Check back later for our full write up on this Southern Company earnings report later!
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