Back to top

Image: Bigstock

Southern Company (SO) Q1 Earnings In Line, Retail Sales Fall

Read MoreHide Full Article

Power supplier Southern Company (SO - Free Report) reported first-quarter 2019 earnings per share (excluding certain one-time items) of 70 cents, same as the Zacks Consensus Estimate. The in-line performance stemmed from lower costs and expenses.

However, Southern Company’s bottom line witnessed a fall from the year-ago quarter’s profit of 88 cents on lower sales from the retail segment and the divestment of its Gulf Power subsidiary in May last year.

The Atlanta-based utility’s quarterly revenue – at $5.4 billion – came 15.1% lower than the first-quarter 2018 sales and missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $5.8 billion.

Southern Company (The) Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise


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

Overall Sales Breakup

Southern Company’s wholesale power sales decreased 13.3%. This came on top of the steep fall in retail electricity demand amid milder weather conditions.

Consequently, there was a downward movement in overall electricity sales and usage. In fact, total electricity sales during the first quarter were down 11.2% from the same period last year.

Southern Company’s total retail sales decreased 10.5%, with residential and commercial sales going down by 15.9% and 10.6%, respectively. Moreover, industrial sales declined 5%.

Expenses Summary

The power supplier’s operations and maintenance cost decreased 9.6% to $1.3 billion, while the utility’s total operating expense for the period – at $1.7 billion – was down 65.6% from the prior-year level.

Zacks Rank & Stock Picks

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) – currently retains a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Apart from Southern Company, one can also look at another player in the space, Ameren Corporation (AEE - Free Report) , that also sports a Zacks Rank #2.

Ameren boasts of a good earnings surprise history. It has a 75% track of outperforming estimates over the last four quarters at an average rate of 8.6%.

Biggest Tech Breakthrough in a Generation

Be among the early investors in the new type of device that experts say could impact society as much as the discovery of electricity. Current technology will soon be outdated and replaced by these new devices. In the process, it’s expected to create 22 million jobs and generate $12.3 trillion in activity.

A select few stocks could skyrocket the most as rollout accelerates for this new tech. Early investors could see gains similar to buying Microsoft in the 1990s. Zacks’ just-released special report reveals 7 stocks to watch. The report is only available for a limited time.

See 7 breakthrough stocks now>>