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Analyzing Southern Company’s 1Q17 Earnings and Growth Prospects

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Analyzing Southern Company’s 1Q17 Earnings and Growth Prospects PART 1 OF 6

Southern Company Posts Huge Rise in 1Q17 Revenue

Sales grow despite mild weather

Southern Company (SO), which is based in Atlanta, Georgia, reported its 1Q17 financial results on May 3, 2017. It reported total revenue of $5.8 billion in 1Q17, posting a rise of 45% compared to the same quarter last year.

In 1Q16, Southern Company registered revenue of $4.0 billion. After its acquisition of AGL Resources, Southern Company Gas, SO’s gas distribution segment, accounted for $1.6 billion of the company’s rise in revenue for the quarter.

Southern Company Posts Huge Rise in 1Q17 Revenue

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Revenue drivers

Southern Company’s revenue in the quarter was positively affected by a rise in its number of customers, which partially compensated for the negative effects of mild weather. During 1Q17, Southern Company’s customer base expanded 0.8% compared to 1Q16. The number of customers using Southern Company Gas rose 0.5% compared to 1Q16.

The states in which SO operates experienced relatively warm weather, particularly in January and February 2017, which largely hampered the utility’s revenue. Compared to 1Q16, Southern Company experienced a rise of 0.5% in its total energy sales in 1Q17.

Southern Company’s residential sales continued to flourish in 1Q17, while its commercial and industrial sales fell significantly. Many US utilities—particularly the industrial sector—have been experiencing weaker sales in the last few quarters due to sluggish global growth. In 1Q17, Southern Company’s residential sales rose 0.8%, while its commercial and industrial sales fell 1.9% and 2.2%, respectively.

Southern Company’s peer NextEra Energy (NEE) reported its 1Q17 earnings in April. To learn more, read What Drove NextEra Energy’s 1Q17 Earnings?

Duke Energy (DUK) will report its 1Q17 earnings on May 9, 2017. Read Can Duke Energy Beat Analysts’ 1Q17 Revenue Estimates?

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