Southern Co. beats fourth-quarter EPS by $0.01

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Southern Co. (NYSE: SOrecords $0.36 EPS in the fourth quarter of the 2021 financial year, topping the $0.35 analyst estimate by one cent. The company recorded $5.8 billion in revenue in the same quarter, also beating the $4.78 billion consensus estimate. The company recorded a $215 million loss in the fourth quarter, representing $0.20 per share.

Southern Co. tops Q4 consensus estimates 

Southern Company reported $2.39 billion full-year earnings in the 2021 fiscal year, representing $2.26 per share. This result was less than the $2.95 per share, or $3.12 billion net earnings recorded in the previous fiscal year.

Southern Company’s Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Thomas Fanning, said:

“2021 was an excellent year and we believe we are well-positioned to carry that momentum into 2022. We have a solid financial outlook for 2022 and beyond, driven by continued investment in our premier, state-regulated electric and gas utility franchises that continue to be among our industry’s leaders for operational performance and customer satisfaction.”

The CEO added, “as further evidence that we are poised for sustainable progress, we have been ranked number two in the United States in Forbes Magazine’s 2022 list of America’s Best Large Employers, based on input from our employees.”

A few things that helped drive adjusted earnings up in the 2021 fiscal year was the company’s robust customer growth, constructive state regulatory initiatives and intense customer usage. 

Most of these impacts were slightly displaced by increased maintenance and non-fuel operations costs as the rising economy recovery led to a continued return to normal operations.  

Financial highlights

The company reported $5.8 billion in operating revenue in the fourth quarter, representing a 12.7% increase from the $5.1 billion it recorded in the same quarter of the previous fiscal year. Full-year operating revenue came to about $23.1 billion, representing a 13.4% increase from the $20.4 billion it recorded in the previous fiscal year.

All the increases the company recorded were mainly because of increased fuels costs as well as the global pandemic’s negative impact on energy sales being way more severe and prevalent in 2020.

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